Political Bias

Controversy in the Classroom

The AAUP clarifies that the group "Students for Academic Freedom," which purports to rely on AAUP principles concerning controversial subject matter, in fact goes well beyond the AAUP's statements and is inimical to academic freedom and the very idea of liberal education. 

Response to Cary Nelson

In a response to an essay in this issue of the Journal of Academic Freedom by Cary Nelson about the appointment of Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois, the author seeks to set the record straight and suggests that Nelson is grinding a political ax.

The Dismissal of Ralph Turner: A Historical Case Study of Events at the University of Pittsburgh

In the early 1930s, the University of Pittsburgh found itself in a period of increasing uncertainty about what academic freedom meant. The previous decade had been a time of strenuous struggle between the faculty of the institution and chancellor John Gabbert Bowman with regard to scholarship. Bowman had arrived at the university in 1921 with the perspective that faculty serve institutional and community desires and objectives; as a result, a faculty member’s responsibility to his or her discipline was routinely ignored. By 1934, the university still had not created a workable definition of academic freedom.


Invigorating the Classroom

In a lengthy two-part, online essay titled “Politicizing the Classroom,” Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, argues that the AAUP’s recent report Ensuring Academic Freedom in Politically Controversial Academic Personnel Decisions is an effort to politicize the university. He advocates, as if it were an alternative, that the university focus on improving the quality of student learning. I disagree with his critique, and particularly his contrived assumption that advocacy and learning are contradictory.

Conservatives in the Academy

Passing On The Right: Conservative Professors In The Progressive University by Jon A. Shields and Joshua M. Dunn Sr. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.


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