Academic Freedom

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Defining Academic Freedom

Belief that freedom to inquire and explore by students and faculty members is essential to the mission of the academy
Scholars should have the freedom to teach and communicate ideas without being targeted for repression, job loss, or imprisonment
IMPORTANT: ACADEMIC FREEDOM IN ITSELF IS NOT A LEGAL CONCEPT

Importance of Academic Freedom

Essential to the mission of the academy
Without protection, academic communities are repressed for their ability to shape knowledge
According to a reflection by Robert Quinn, historically, the power to shape knowledge is a source of power. Authorities have sought to control societies by controlling scholars
We should care about increasing the quality and flow of information and understanding in the world (academic freedom and scholarship promotes these goals)

1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.
Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment

Conflict with Institutional Academic Freedom

Institutions reserve the right to determine
Who may teach
Who may be taught
How it shall be taught
Who many be admitted to study
(Regents of the Univ. of Californav. Bakker, 438 U.S. 265, 312 (1978)
Piarowski (1985) shows a conflict between individual and institutional academic freedom
Faculty member was asked to move his sexually explicit art display from a gallery in a heavily traveled area to a less traveled area
Court ruled that a college can regulate the display of explicit material
Johnson-Kurekv. Abu-Absi (2005) support the concept that the institution has the right to designate how classes are taught and what grades were issued. First amendment protects the individuals right to their belief in pedagogy but not their right to actually do it.