A “vaguely fuzzy” term that emerged from abroad (Germany), academic freedom might sound akin to the First Amendment, but it’s not, for the obvious reason that it doesn’t apply to all citizens. Instead, it is a prerequisite for professional academic life, the autonomy necessary for making educated and trained judgments. Schrecker has her own analogy: “[J]ust as judges maintained their independence from the executive officials who appointed them, so too, professors were to be free from external interference.” Academic freedom protects controversial research and teaching from political reprisal. Teachers must be allowed the freedom to use their expertise and training to state truths and explain ideas that might be unpopular to students and readers of their research.
The argument for tenure rests on a largely forgotten history of academic injustice. There are some major cases. [...]
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Kevin Mattson for Democracy Journal: In Defense of Tenure
Posted by Mpeterson