Free to Teach, Free to Learn
Understanding and Maintaining Academic Freedom in Higher Education
April 2013 by ACTA
This guide for trustees reports on the dangerous decline of academic freedom and intellectual diversity on college campuses. The foreword, by Benno Schmidt, chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees and former president of Yale, comes at a time when duly-invited graduation speakers are made unwelcome, campus speech codes threaten the free exchange of ideas, and academic freedom controversies are emerging on a number of campuses. The guide features key documents that shaped the modern concept of academic freedom, coupled with commentary from a wide and bipartisan roster of distinguished educators, attorneys, and policymakers including former Harvard University president Lawrence Summers, U.S. Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes, CUNY board chairman and former president of Yale, Benno Schmidt, and the co-founders of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate. The report accompanied a conference on the same subject held in New York City on April 25, 2013.
Academic freedom, the freedom of thought to challenge widely-held beliefs, and to speak one’s mind—these are indispensable habits and practices of any university worthy of the name. Professors require substantial independence from political pressure and utilitarian economics in order to teach, discover, study, and invent—and the public needs professors’ teaching and research in order to enjoy the knowledge, the opportunities, and the future that a vibrant college and university system fosters. On these things, most everyone can agree. Continue Reading >>
Video: Wall Street Journal Live
The Wall Street Journal interviewed Benno Schmidt, the moderator of ACTA’s conference and author of the report’s foreword, in its special program, Wall Street Journal Live. Watch the Video>>