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..
A Response to Brian Leiter from the Margins
by Christopher Lebron
Take a look around you. It’s a new day. Campuses around the country have put the world on notice that there is no last place of refuge for marginalization. Ap..
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..
This afternoon Mount St. Mary’s University announced that its president, Simon Newman, had agreed to reinstate Thane Naberhaus and Edward Egan, the two faculty members who were fired for “disloyalty” earlier this week, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. CHE also reports on Naberhaus’s response:
But one of those faculty members—Thane M. Naberhaus, ..
In previous posts (here, here, and here) I have expressed some skepticism about the idea that academic liberty is on the decline. Yes, there are occasional stories of violations of academic liberty; Steven Salaita, whose job offer was rescinded, comes to mind. But we have to be careful here. A (defeasible) rule of thumb is that if you are hearing a lot about an even..
Below is a list of assorted commentaries on the ongoing Hypatia controversy, mostly lifted from one of the updates on the original post on the story. Recent additions at time of posting include: (more…)
The following is a message from Professor Hanoch Ben-Yami, Head of the Department of Philosophy at Central European University (CEU), regarding recently proposed legislation threatening its continued existence in Hungary.
As reported a few days ago, Marquette University philosophy graduate student and instructor Cheryl Abbate has been the subject of defamatory and hostile politically-motivated blog posts by Marquette associate professor John McAdams. The story has predictably spread across the internet, and has now appeared on the Fox News website with a lying headline, typical slant..
UPDATE : Ted Underwood, a professor of English at UIUC, tweets: “Regret to say that last night’s report from students appears premature. Faculty have since met with Wise, & report no change in position.” (via John Protevi, in the comments)
According to undergraduates who met with her today, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise “has f..
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 ..
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.)
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…)
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..
Gerald Dworkin has a thoug..