Last week, Charles Murray, a social scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, was scheduled to give a lecture at Middlebury College, at the invitation of a student group. Before he began speaking, though, many students and faculty in the audience stood up, turned away from the stage, and “shouted and chanted for such a long period that Murray couldn’t speak.” ..
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has published the 2015 edition of its Journal of Academic Freedom. The volume covers a variety of events and issues. Several pieces are on Steven Salaita’s “unhiring.” There’s a piece on the personal ethics of academic freedom, one on the emergence of institutional review boards as threats to academic freedom,..
Any characterization of the United States as “a melting pot,” for example, is classified in widely used training materials as a microaggression signaling a refusal to acknowledge the role that race plays in American society. The same goes for saying “Everyone can succeed in this society if they work hard enough” or “I believe the most qualified person should get the..
The following is a guest post* by Laura Kipnis, professor in Northwestern University’s School of Communication. Professor Kipnis wrote an opinion piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe,” in which she argued against certain policies and attitudes regarding sexual relations between faculty and students. In doing so, she referred ..
The University of Illinois will pay $875,000 to settle the Steven Salaita case. From the press release from Salaita’s lawyers:
Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel Loevy & Loevy announced the settlement of Professor Steven Salaita’s case against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) for firing him from his tenured posit..
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…)
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..
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A philosophy professor says he will stand trial next week on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for suggesting in an article that the Turkish leader should go on trial over a range of claims, including alleged corruption and the violation of the constitution.
Orsan Oymen said Wednesday he fac..
“Disability activists have launched a petition demanding Princeton University professor Peter Singer resign over his outspoken support for euthanasia and infanticide,” according to an article in The Washington Times.
The petition, which currently has 823 signatories, makes the following demands:
- That Princeton University officials should immediately call for..
The Westboro Baptist Church, a bizarre anti-gay cult comprised largely of the extended family of its late founder, is planning to picket on the campus of Marquette University this Sunday (correction: next Monday) morning, citing Fox News’ misleading account of Marquette graduate student Cheryl Abbate’s handling of an undergraduate’s desire to discuss same-sex marri..
…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..
A Northwestern University professor who edits a bioethics magazine has shelved the publication over a dispute with administrators, who demand that public relations staff approve content. Katie Watson, a professor in the university’s Medical Humanities and Bioethics program who edits the journal Atrium, said the demand followed recent controversy over the school’s ce..
The board of officers of the American Philosophical Association (APA) today issued the following statement on the 2016 U.S. presidential election:
Leading up to the United States presidential election one month ago and in the weeks since, the nation has experienced increasingly divisive rhetoric and a rise in bias-based attacks on members of vulnerable groups. In..
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..
Jülide Yazıcı, a student in the Philosophy Department in Boğaziçi University who was active on social media supporting academics threatened by the Turkish government, was arrested two days ago. According to one source, she was charged with “being a member of an armed terrorist organisation” and “spreading terrorist propaganda.” The specifics of the accusations are u..
What is an “intellectually safe space”? In “What Does Intellectual Safety Really Mean?” Katelyn Hallman (North Florida) notes:
An intellectually safe environment, as typically construed, is something like an environment “in which a person feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions without fear of harsh judgment or repercussions.” This conception of intellectual..
The American Philosophical Association (APA) Board of Officers have written a letter in which they “protest the action of the Chancellor and Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in withdrawing the offer of a tenured position to Professor Steven Salaita.” The Board condemns the actions of these officials based on considerations of free ..
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..
For the most recent information about the efforts to reverse the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s decision to rescind Steven Salaita’s offer, see Corey Robin’s blog. According to him, six departments have voted no confidence in the university’s administration, seven professional associations have condemned the decision, and many scholars, including a num..
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…)
In response to the news that Tommy Curry, professor of philosophy at Texas A & M University, has been receiving racist hate mail and death threats owing to a mispresentation of his words by pundit Rod Dreher, and that the president of his university, Michael K. Young, publicly reiterated this misrepresentation, graduate students from across his university have autho..
It seems to me we need some clarification of the idea of academic freedom, so I am throwing out these thoughts, rather tentatively, to get the ball rolling. I welcome discussion on this, though keep in mind this is a blog post and not an academic paper. Links to helpful resources as well as discussions elsewhere are also welcome. Ok, so here goes:
John McAdams, the associate professor of political science at Marquette University who, in the fall of 2014, launched a political attack on philosophy graduate student Cheryl Abbate based on falsehoods, misleading claims, and a surreptitious recording of her, and who was later suspended from his position for it, is suing Marquette. The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Se..
Philosophers are under attack at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The reason appears to be that they questioned the university president’s surreptitious attempt to improve his school’s retention rate by culling students ahead of the federal reporting deadline.
The Director of Communications at St. Thomas University in Houston, Sandra Soliz, today sent a press release regarding the possible threats to philosophers and philosophy programs there. She included a note that said that “all tenured philosophy professors will receive continuous contracts by today.” There do not appear to be any untenured tenure-track professors. T..
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..