Cary Nelson

Faculty Forum: Cary Nelson: An Appreciation

I was elected to the national Council of the AAUP in 2005, just as Cary Nelson was running for the presidency. My first year on the Council was intensely dismaying. Academic freedom was under threat, the culture wars had been reheated in the aftermath of September 11, and David Horowitz was urging state legislatures to pass his “Academic Bill of Rights” to combat what he considered leftist indoctrination in the classroom. Tenure was being eroded by the overuse and exploitation of faculty hired off the tenure track.

AAUP Releases Draft Report on Academy-Industry Relationships

A new AAUP report, prepared by past president Cary Nelson in conjunction with investigative journalist Jennifer Washburn, examines the connections between academia and industry and offers recommendations for ensuring academic freedom and ethical practices in academy-industry partnerships. The report, Recommended Principles and Practices to Guide Academy-Industry Relationships, is the result of eighteen months of research and preparation.

Report on Academy-Industry Relationships Published in Book Form

The AAUP and the AAUP Foundation are pleased to announce the publication of Recommended Principles to Guide Academy-Industry Relationships. The 368-page report is the product of four years of work. It has been updated, clarified, and extensively edited since a draft was published online for comment in 2012.

Academic Boycotts Reconsidered: A Response to the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, Volume 4

The limit case is always Nazi Germany. Would I have supported a boycott of German universities during the Nazi period? I cannot of course place myself back in that historical moment—before I was born—and be certain how I would have felt. But I can respond in principle. And I believe my answer at the time should have been “No,” but not, as it happens, because of the AAUP’s policy against academic boycotts. When the Nazis criminalized their institutions of higher education they ceased to be universities. Thus I would argue there was fundamentally nothing “academic” left to boycott. There was no meaningful dialogue with German academics to preserve.An academic boycott suggests there remains a redeemable core at the enterprise in question, that the “faculty” have some hope of engaging in meaningful national political discussion and debate, that international pressure on them might change attitudes and practices. Crediting such expectations would have been folly in the case of Nazi Germany.

Editor's Introduction - Volume 2

Whether by chance or by fate, the Spring 2011 issue of the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom has turned out to be rather timely. At a moment when faculty unionization is paradoxically at once resurgent and under assault, Bill Lyne lays out rather clearly what its benefits can be for shared governance. John Champagne and John W. Powell mount philosophical, political, and pedagogical critiques of the relentlessly expanding assessment movement.

Editor's Introduction - Volume 1

With this issue we introduce a new online project—The AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom. Scholarship on academic freedom—and on its relation to shared governance, tenure, and collective bargaining--is typically scattered across a wide range of disciplines. People who want to keep up with the field thus face a difficult task. Moreover, there is no one place to track the developing international discussion about academic freedom and its collateral issues.

The Last Indian Standing: Shared Governance in the Shadow of History

The call went out from Bacone College in 1932 to the Nations for pieces of the earth—stones, to be specific—that were steeped in Native American history. From Big Fish Place in Tennessee came a stone evoking the place identified with a traditional Cherokee story: Long ago a great fish overturned a warrior’s canoe, swallowed him, and coughed him up onto that Tennessee shore. Tennessee also provided a stone from Tuskegee in recognition of the birthplace of Sequoyah, the leader who created the Cherokee syllabary. From New England came stones from the Deerfield and Mohawk Trails. From Manitau, Colorado, a stone arrived from the old quarry on the Ute Pass Trail, once used by Utes, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and Kiowas in very different times. A sandstone block bearing the image of a Katchina figure hailed from Walpi, oldest of the Hopi villages. From old Fort Yates in North Dakota came a stone from Sitting Bull’s grave.

Narrowing Academic Freedom, Discriminating against Israeli Nationals: A Response to the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom, Volume 4

A recent round table of essays published in the Journal of Academic Freedom, an online publication of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), sought to bolster the case for an academic boycott of Israeli universities and scholars, seeking thereby to turn an
organization long committed to values of academic freedom and fairness against those same values. Six of nine essays in the issue offered arguments for an academic boycott, taking stands against academic freedom and non-discrimination toward Israeli nationals. Cary Nelson, a former AAUP president, in his strongly critical and thoughtful response to these articles, ably defended those values and also countered several misstatements of reality about the Middle East offered in the essays.

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