Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and Cornel R. West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard Divinity School have jointly authored “Truth Seeking, Democracy, and Freedom of Thought and Expression,” a public statement in favor of civil discourse and respectful disagreement on u..
The following is a guest post* by Charles H. Seibert, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati. It is about his experiences as a politically-minded graduate student in the 1960s—and the professional consequences that followed. (more…)
Remarks on immigration by Dan Demetriou, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota, Morris, have been a subject of controversy at the school recently, according to Inside Higher Ed. (more…)
We’ve seen the following: the questioning of a professor’s ability to teach well because of the effect on his or her students of the professor’s expression of a controversial opinion. This was one element of the debate surrounding Steven Salaita’s tweets. For example, he wrote on Twitter, “If you’re defending #Israel right now you’re an awful human being.” Concerns ..
Tempted to talk politics in the classroom? It may behoove you to take a look at “Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty in the Wake of the 2016 Election,” a document put together by American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). (more…)
State legislators in Iowa and Missouri have introduced legislation to eliminate tenure for public colleges and universities in their states. While the Missouri bill would have schools cease tenure-track hiring in 2018, the Iowa bill goes further, proposing to take tenure away from those who already have it, according to reports from Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicl..
SUNY Stony Brook philosophy PhD Jason Reza Jorjani, who is now a lecturer in humanities at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and editor-in-chief of what appears to be an alt-right (white supremacist) publishing firm, Arktos Media, is demanding an apology from the philosophy faculty at Stony Brook, according to Inside Higher Ed.
The apology demand is prompted b..
People are wondering how authoritarian the United States government will become under a Trump administration. There’s no way to know for sure. Perhaps the answer is: no more than it already is. Or perhaps Trump, who seems to be some combination of much less knowledgeable of and much less respectful of the limits of executive power than any previous U.S. president (e..
The “Professor Watchlist” is a website listing professors who someone has thought “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The list was created by Turning Point, a student-oriented non-profit organization which takes as its mission “to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fi..
The other day, Jonathan Webber, a philosopher at Cardiff University, sent out a series of tweets detailing how the University of Hertfordshire, at which he was supposed to give a pair of talks, required he provide a scan of his passport in advance. (more…)
Colleges in Colorado have the option of offering “guaranteed transfer” (GT) courses. Standards for these courses are set by statewide requirements called the “GT Pathways Requirements”. The idea is that students taking GT courses at, say, a community college, are getting the kind of quality education that students at the state’s major universities are receiving, so ..
The Turkish government, under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has continued its crackdown on those it deems enemies of the state in the wake of an attempted coup this past July. According to The Independent, over 70,000 people have been arrested during this time. (more…)
Wednesday afternoon, Gordon Hull, associate professor of philosophy at University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and director of the school’s Center for Professional and Applied Ethics, put up a post on the Center’s webpage about the recent police shooting of an unarmed black man, Keith L. Scott (see the bottom of this post for that text). (more…)
This past April I reported that Lauren Barthold, associate professor of philosophy at Gordon College, a Christian liberal arts college in Massachusetts, had filed a lawsuit against the college for retaliating against her for her public statements (such as a letter to the editor of a newspaper) disagreeing with college president Michael Lindsay over whether federal c..
Here are some empirical claims about higher education in the United States. In comparison to 100 years ago:
- There are fewer or weaker institutional, social, and material obstacles to non-white-male people entering academia.
- Academics today regularly and with institutional approval study a greater number of topics, including topics previously thought taboo or unwo..
Joining the apparent trend of schools and professors alerting students to the prospects that they will be encountering material they may find upsetting, the University of Chicago this week issued a “trigger warning” to its entire incoming class of first-year students. In a letter to the class of 2020 (reproduced at the bottom of this post), Dean John (Jay) Ellison w..
The board of officers of the American Philosophical Association (APA), in a unanimous vote, decided to officially sign on to a statement from the Middle East Studies Association condemning the Turkish government’s recent attacks on academic freedom, according to a post at the Blog of the APA. (more…)
In April, philosophy professor Sheikha al-Jassem (Kuwait University) was charged with blasphemy after a television interview in which she discussed freedom of religion and the importance of a secular basis for law in Kuwait. She has now informed me that she was cleared of all charges. She writes: (more…)
The thing I always like to stress is that although academics have the right to offend, they must do so responsibly, and they must to be able to defend the origin of the academic freedom of the right to offend and show that they exercise it in a way that’s as responsible as possible. Sometimes this means, if there is something on your syllabus that troubles a student..
Lauren Barthold, associate professor of philosophy at Gordon College, a Christian liberal arts college in Massachusetts, has filed a lawsuit against the college for retaliating against her for her public statements (such as a letter to the editor of a newspaper) disagreeing with college president Michael Lindsay over whether federal contractors, on the basis of reli..
Joel Pust (Delaware) and Eric Winsberg (South Florida) have authored an open letter in regards to philosopher Crispin Sartwell’s employment status at Dickinson College: “Academics’ Statement of Protest Regarding Dickinson College’s Treatment of Professor Crispin Sartwell.” They invite philosophers and other academics to sign. (For some context, see this post.)
Philosophy professor Sheikha al-Jassem (Shaikha Binjasim) is facing charges of blasphemy and the possible loss of her faculty position at Kuwait University, owing to remarks she made in a television interview about freedom of conscience, the politicization of religion in Kuwait, and how the Kuwaiti constitution, not the Quran, is and should be the basis of law in Ku..
Crispin Sartwell, who up until recently was associate professor of philosophy at Dickinson College, says: “i have been officially terminated by dickinson college, as of march 31, without appeals process or compensation.” Dickinson College Provost Neil Weissman says that Sartwell’s “characterization of events, including his claim that the college terminated his emplo..
…Academic freedom is the core meaning, the core institutional life, of freedom of debate and freedom of inquiry in the university setting. And one thing that’s notable about academic freedom as I’ve just labeled it is that it creates safe spaces. The people who are doing the work on an ongoing basis be they students, teachers, or researchers, don’t have to spend a..
Busi Mkhumbuzi, an undergraduate at the University of Cape Town (UCT), reports that she has been “summoned by the Student Tribunal” (part of the university’s apparatus for addressing offenses committed by students) for spreading “racist and defamatory remarks” about UCT philosophy professor David Benatar. Mkhumbuzi says she has called Benatar “racist, ableist and se..
The Canadian Philosophical Association (CPA) has written a letter to Turkey’s Council of Higher Education, stating concerns about academic repression in that country. (For more on the situation in Turkey, see previous posts here and here, for example.) The letter contains some eloquent and important remarks on academic freedom.
We recognize that th..
The Executive Committee of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA)has issued a statement regarding the ongoing controversy at Mount St. Mary’s University of the recent actions of its president, Simon Newman. After intense pressure and horrible publicity, Newman agreed to reinstate the faculty he had fired, attempting to save face by claiming it was an..
Thane Naberhaus, the tenured associate professor of philosophy at Mount St. Mary’s University who was one of several recently fired or demoted by the university’s president, Simon Newman, and then, last Friday, reinstated, sent along the following statement Sunday evening:
Having been reinstated as a member of the Mount St. Mary’s faculty, I have decided to retur..