20060704

Academic Independence

Happy Independence America!

On the topic of Independence, consider this item on the Academic Independence:
DENVER -- Three years ago, David Horowitz came to Colorado to promote his newly inked Academic Bill of Rights, a plan the radical-turned-conservative activist said was needed to liberate students from an oppressive atmosphere of liberal groupthink at the nation's universities.
Critics had scoffed at the assertion by Mr. Horowitz -- who in the 1960s had been a prominent left-wing student activist -- that freedom on 21st-century campuses was being crushed by a tyrannical regime of political correctness.
But as then-state Senate Majority Leader John Andrews listened to Mr. Horowitz over breakfast at the Brown Palace Hotel, he agreed the time was ripe for an intellectual revolution.
"We were finishing each other's sentences, because this has been a concern for conservatives for such a long time," Mr. Andrews recalled. "I started working on and researching legislation right away."
A few months later, the Colorado legislature became the first to broker a deal with state universities on policies to protect students from political discrimination.
Since then, the Academic Bill of Rights, which says students should be graded and faculty should be hired and promoted without regard to their political or religious beliefs, has inspired the introduction of legislation in 18 states. Ohio and Tennessee struck deals with their universities on protecting academic freedom in lieu of legislation.
Meanwhile, Students for Academic Freedom, the campus watchdog group founded by Mr. Horowitz, has established chapters on more than 150 campuses

What are the items in particular?
1. Faculty members shall be hired and fired based on their competence and expertise, not their political or religious beliefs.

2. No faculty member shall be excluded from hiring, firing or tenure committees based on political or religious beliefs.

3. Students will be graded solely on their knowledge of a subject matter, not political or religious beliefs.

4. Reading lists should reflect a broad range of knowledge within a discipline.

5. Faculty will expose students to a wide range of viewpoints, not use their courses "for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination.

6. Campus speakers should reflect a broad range of viewpoints.

7. Efforts to censor viewpoints by obstructing invited speakers or destroying literature will not be tolerated.

8. Academic institutions and professional societies should maintain a position of organizational neutrality on scholarly disputes over resea


The Full Bill of Rights
HT Powerline

1 comment:

Gordon N. Trenchard said...

I am conservative hiding in academia, and while I definitely understand the attraction of the Academic Bill of Rights, it really has a number of problems with it. I address these in my latest blog if your curious.