Academic Freedom

Editor's Introduction - Volume 3

With this, the third annual issue of the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, we make good for the first time on our pledge to publish essays that carry on a debate with one another. The 2011 volume of JAF opened with two essays highly critical of the pedagogy, philosophy, and politics of the growing assessment and accountability movement—John Champagne’s “Teaching in the Corporate University: Assessment as a Labor Issue” and John W.

Teaching Palestine

I teach courses that reflect my work in critical queer, feminist, and ethnic studies, security studies, and law. In all of my classes, I teach about Palestine. When I tell colleagues this, I tend to hear one of the following in reply:

1. That’s brave; I avoid it like the plague.

2. You are going to get in trouble.

Austerity and Academic Freedom

Higher education places the entire society in which it takes place on trial. Education indicts the commonplace notions upon which society is built. Its purpose is to produce people who question everything, especially the commonplaces. James Baldwin argued that although “no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around,” having such people around is “the only hope society has.” Higher education produces this hope and is therefore a public good.

Student Journalism Under Fire

It has become routine for student journalists and their advisers to experience hostility that threatens their ability to practice journalism and sometimes threatens their careers or the survival of their publications, says a report issued in December by the AAUP, the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the Student Press Law Center. The report, titled Threats to the Independence of Student Media, examines current threats and expands upon the basic principles of a free student press previously endorsed by these and other organizations.

Free Expression in the Global City

Free Speech: Ten Principles for A Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016.

AAUP Investigates Dismissal of Part-Time Faculty Member

In March, the AAUP published online an investigating committee’s report on the fall 2016 dismissal of Nathanial Bork, a part-time instructor of philosophy at the Community College of Aurora in Colorado. Bork’s section of Introduction to Philosophy was in its fourth week when the administration notified him of the termination of his appointment, ostensibly because he had failed adequately to implement curricular changes designed to improve pass rates in entry-level general education courses.

State of the Profession: Freedom in the Classroom—and in the Trump Era

A week after the election of Donald Trump, over a hundred students and faculty members at my institution, Pennsylvania State University, met to talk about What It All Meant. Tensions ran high, and there was a heated argument over whether misogyny or white supremacism was primarily to blame for Trump’s freakish win (we would not know for another week or two that he performed no better in the popular vote than did Michael Dukakis in 1988).

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