Showing posts from January, 2010

Excerpts from Our Recent Letter to Our Administrators

I add to David's fine essay the thought that members of the university administration who act unilaterally and without regard to due process may be a fourth major threat to academic freedom. In that regard, let me include the following in this discussion. After stating the particulars of a case in which a faculty member on tenure track was fired without the due process required by policy, we ended our recent letter to UVU administrators with the following more general statement: Issues like this make a difference in our ability to act responsibly as faculty and administrators of the university. We hope to continue to work with you on matters of academic freedom and due process, and trust that this case can be dealt with in a speedy and fair manner. Finally, this case follows a disturbing pattern we have noted previously. Professor Hyunme Lee, for instance, also from the Art Department and also under the deanship of Kathie Debenham, was not given due process in

Three Threats to Academic Freedom at Utah Valley University

Freedom of inquiry, unfettered by political pressure, is the élan vital of the academic enterprise. Professors are professionals, and part of the essence of being a “professional” is possessing public trust. The trust granted to us, the professoriate, is academic freedom. Claims to academic freedom are legitimate if the inquiry furthers understanding of the condition of humanity and/or the processes of nature. Defense of academic freedom is a central focus of our campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors (UVU-AAUP). As an issue which transcends the partisan politics of town hall, academic freedom is neither “liberal” nor “conservative.” Inaccurately identified with the left by the right, the brute reality is that no professor is immune from interference, meddling, subversion, and suppression of academic work for non-academic pretexts. Violation of the academic freedom of “conservative” professors is as much as a possibility as violation of the academic f