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The ad hoc committee. Of the American Association of University Professors answered the board's contention concerning irresponsibility by stating and I quote again. The concept of irresponsibility is exceedingly vague. Any one of us. Can easily call to mind. Statements by our colleagues which might be termed by some. As unrestrained undignified or lacking respect. For the opinions of others. Any serious application of the standard would tend to eliminate or discourage any colorful or forceful utterance. More likely. As M. observes the standard would be reserved as a sanction only for the expression of an orthodox opinion. Going on the ad hoc committee further stated. These techniques. Overstatement and ridicule. Are frequently employed in
academic. And public discussions often by our most respected writers. The success of the techniques as might be expected varies and mils position states the general rule of such variation. Overstatement and ridicule. Are normally acceptable. When used against unpopular views. Normally unacceptable. When used against popular ones. Clearly such standards must be rejected in the interests of genuine freedom of expression. I'm still quoting. It seems clear to us that had the letter dealt with any subject other than sex mores religion or some other acutely sensitive area its language and tone would have passed unnoticed. We do not believe that a faculty member
writing on these subjects should be held to higher standards of responsibility than one writing on less controversial topics and closes the quotation. In a free and open society nor value can command higher priority. Than the right of citizens to freedom of expression. It is indispensable. To such a society that the scholar. Professionally and as a citizen. Be free in an absolute sense. From the cares worries. And distractions which any qualification of absolute freedom. What in polls Professor Warren Taylor. Properly pointed out in a separate opinion in the case of the assistant professor and I quote to fire a teacher for his utterances. The administrator cannot rely on such an ambiguous test
as that of academic responsibility. The opinions of a teacher as a citizen are not enough to justify terminations. The opinions that the administrator will have to establish prove. That beyond the utterance lies unfitness to teach. Professional incompetence dereliction of duty. Called quotation. This brief revealed. Other sources of dangers to academic freedom. Must include mention of the influence of political controls and governmental activity. The iniquitous loyalty oaths. And disclaimer affidavit is. Required by a certain federal and Ackerman's. Not to mention the statutes which have been adopted by a few states including the iniquitous clay Paul and NAC and which still remains in effect to the state of Illinois. And is now being tested in the courts. Show the political
influence in its most obvious and obnoxious form. Also of great concern. Are the facts that the growth of state appropriations. For higher education. Has resulted in the end imposition of hitherto unknown administrative controls upon our colleges and universities and federal government sponsored research. Now determines the subject matter and the direction. Of the majority of research and scholarly inquiry going on in our universities. The allocation of federal research money has until very recent years started the social sciences and humanities in favor of the natural sciences. The high degree of specialisation in government response to government sponsored research has created divisions within the natural sciences which
threaten to make them. Which threaten to make the cultural gap which has existed between the humanists and the scientists physical and social seem paltry by comparison. It is imperative that the appropriation and acceptance of federal support. Be conditioned. In such a manner as not to deflect scholars from productive work. The basic theoretical nature in favor of research which offers the promise of practical results and benefits over the short term. It cannot be considered other than an infringement upon academic freedom. When a scholar can only get support. For research likely it will lead to fairly immediate practical results. Or when the ebb and flow of support for research and scholarly investigation
depend upon the current fashion and weaponry. Space Technology. Or the existence or absence of crises in foreign relations or military policy. If the universities. Are to pursue their mission with the fact scholars in each discipline must have opportunities for research and scholarly inquiry about equal to the opportunities of scholars in each other discipline none of this means that research which may result in practical benefits should like encouragement and support. All of our great land grant universities are justly proud of their outstanding scholars whose investigations and discoveries have made possible many great practical benefits to mankind. We should be equally proud of those whose scholarly inquiries have advanced knowledge in areas having no immediate
apparent practical consequences. The encouragement of advancement of basic knowledge should never be dominated by considerations of practicality. Popular whim. Our current crisis. Freedom and research and scholarly inquiry demands the provision of support unincumbered by restrictions of any kind. Sufficient to permit all faculty members having research competence and inclination to pursue the lines of scholarly inquiry which they decide are worthy of investigation. Having considered the amount of freedom. From the external society. Necessary to enable the university to perform its function we turn to the second broad question How can such freedom be secured. The governing body. Whether denominated trustees or regents.
The university administration. And the faculty. Each has an important role. In the preservation of academic freedom. Against challenges from external forces and influences. In addition there has been a growing insistence by the courts during recent years that principles of academic due process be applied in cases involving the possible discipline. Or dismissal of a faculty member. Although such cases remain few in number they do show an increasing realisation. Of the societal interest in preventing abridgements of academic freedom. Let us look at the roles which should be played by the regents or trustees. The administration and the faculty respectively in meeting external threats. The governing board of a university has a primary duty in the exercise of its policymaking function to assure the codification
and observance of rules of tenure. Which guaranteed to persons having tenure status. The freedom of inquiry investigation and expression which I have previously mentioned. A governing board. Should consult. With representatives of the faculties of the institution whenever the necessity for the selection of a new president exists. A governing board should not appoint to the office of president of a university any person who does not have a general consensus of approval of the faculty. A governing board and making appointments to academic positions or promotions or transfers should act on the advice of the president who in turn should have secured the advice of the faculty as a whole or of the appropriate faculty committee. A president should have the concurrence of the faculty in recommending any dismissal
from a tenure position. A governing board has the responsibility in the area of academic freedom and tenure of safeguarding and fostering an atmosphere and environment and qualify only conducive to the free and untrammeled search for truth. It is the duty of a governing board to resist the pressures clamors and demands of video logical and other special interest groups against all who would compromise the goal of scholarship whether alumni politicians private donors the press or segments of the public. A governing board should protect the faculty and the students against all outside pressures which would divert them from scholarly pursuits. A president of a university protects and implements academic freedom. By
interpret ing to the public. The values and goals of higher education and the primary importance of freedom of inquiry and expression. A university president protects and implements academic freedom by encouraging it. And by resisting attacks upon it from within and from without the institution. A university president protects and implements academic freedom by normally following faculty recommendations concerning appointments and promotions so long as they are within budgetary allotments and by encouraging full consultation. In the case of differences of opinion. Such a president. If he believes that a whole school or department within his institution fails to maintain adequate standards or falls behind the advance of scholarship in its field well obtain the advice and assistance of other educators in connection with and before
making or recommending changes. When we think of what a faculty can do to protect and implement academic freedom. We are thinking of what the university itself should do because the faculty is the ongoing University. The greatness of such institutions as the University of Illinois. And the University of Wisconsin and other institutions of comparable stature is directly attributable to the ability. And attainments the dedication and the inspirational qualities of their faculties. This is not to say that such institutions could exist without the tax dollars and other monies which support and sustain them or that they could continue without the physical facilities which have been provided for the present and past administrative ours have not furnished inspired an effective leadership or left their permanent marks upon the progress of these institutions. But none of these
things would have been of any avail had it not been for the faculties. When we ask therefore what the faculty should do to protect and implement academic freedom. Against threats of extra nal and crotch months the question may be answered simply and briefly. The faculty must exercise. And insist upon its right and duty to exercise academic freedom. Without any qualification whatever. When an academic freedom question or issue is presented. It should be met head on. And forthrightly. No Quarter accommodation or compromise can be given or made to or with the opponents of freedom. There have been examples in the academic history of some of our leading institutions where attempts at a combination of voids or compromise were made. Let us look at some.
At the outset I quoted from the 1894 report. Of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin. The concluding sentence. From that quotation has been cast in bronze and fastened to the door post of the main entrance at Bascomb hall the central building on the Madison campus of the University of Wisconsin. The words whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere. We believe. The Great State University of Wisconsin should ever and should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and when owing by which alone the truth can be found. Were drafted by President Charles candell Adams. At the suggestion of law professor John M. aula. And were adopted initially by a region committee consisting of a small town lawyer a doctor and a banker. The statement of principles is one of which in the words of James prior nor subsequent government has had the hardihood to
retract. It does not take away from the importance of the statement to recognize that it was not responsive to the inquiry before the reagent Committee. And this brings me to that to my point concerning the case. Professor Italy had been charged by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and was tried by the by a committee of the regions for believing in strikes and boycotts. Justifying and encouraging the one while practicing the other. He was alleged to have threatened a boycott of a local firm whose workers were on strike. To have stated that a union man no matter how dirty and dissipated was always to be employed in preference to a nonunion man no matter how industrious and trustworthy. And to have entertained and counseled with the union delegate in his home. It was charged that each box contains substantially the same principles. Provided a justification of attack upon life and property and were utopian impracticable or pernicious.
Unfortunately. Unfortunately Professor eagerly. Denied the charges. Rather than any fact demurring to them. Although Professor ily had declared privately that academic freedom was the vital issue. He did not mention this in his answer to the charges. In fact Professor Healy stated publicly that if the charges were true they would unquestionably unfit me to occupy a responsible position as an instructor of us in a great university. Professor Ian Lee had valuable allies in the academic world it was consonant elsewhere but it is clear that except for the antipathy which the rest of the members of the board felt toward the state superintendent. And except for the support of President Campbell and professor on the university's Magna Carta of academic freedom would have had to wait for another occasion. Professor Edward W. of Bemis who ran afoul of the universe of the authorities of the University of Chicago what about the same time on
similar grounds when he wrote to congratulate L.A. quickly perceived the import of that he had sacrificed the important principle even though it won the case and he wrote. According to Hofstetter and Metzger. That was a glorious victory for you. I was sorry only that you seem to show a vigor of denial. As to entertaining a walking delegate or counseling strikers as if either were wrong instead of under certain circumstances a duty. The California loyalty oath debacle of the 1950s is also instructive. The case points up emphatically the danger of any concession. To the enemies of academic freedom. Under the threats of the infamous Tenney committee the president of the University of California drafted and submitted to the Board of Regents a loyalty oath which was to be required of every faculty member. It was the hope of the president and his advisors that the taking of this step would stave off more drastic assaults on academic freedom
by the infamous Tenney Committee. The result of the adoption of the requirement for the loyalty also. Was to invite greater excesses by the Tenet Committee and its assaults on academic freedom and several liberties. One may sympathize with the harassment which was undergone by the officials of the California institutions but it is impossible for me to believe that had they stood up against the onslaught they could not have turned it back. The opposition to the Illinois Broyles Commission investigation of the University of Chicago and Roosevelt college by the administration and faculties of those two institutions illustrate again the effect of a strong faculties of position in support of academic freedom. The recommendations of the Broyles commission were for legislation to reject any teachers who are members of any communist front organization on the attorney
general's list. The dismissal of any student from any tax supported institution. It was stated that he was a communist. The ban of sale of any Communist literature within colleges and universities the scrutiny of textbooks and the like. 8 of the proposed measures failed to pass the Illinois legislature. And the Ninth was vetoed by Governor Stevenson. But the infamous affront to freedom represented by the speaker ban did get into the statute books and it's still being challenged in the courts. An important part. Of the responsibility of the faculty to appalls without equivocation compromise or accommodation. Every assault upon or threat to academic freedom is the duty of faculty members to sustain each other. In this day of increased specialisation it may be difficult for a faculty representing a myriad of disciplines to see how violations of academic
freedom that affect colleagues in departments remote from their own should be matters of great concern. Although each scholar has his own field and his own viewpoint. The university which brings all scholars together has no particular field and no particular viewpoint. Save the dedication to freedom in all its aspects. The institution which brings all scholars together is concerned with the whole body of truth that has one goal. The discovery and dissemination of truth. It should make a single demand upon its members. But it must make that demand insistently. And unceasingly the demand for unremitting devotion to the cause of advancement of knowledge. Thus while the courts have begun. In recent years to lend support to principles of academic freedom as distinguished from earlier cases holding that there could be don't be no judicial review in situations involving the dismissal of
professors. The only sure by work. At all. In situations. The only sure bet work in defense of the freedom of the university against attempted impingement upon academic freedom on the part of the external society must come from the continuing and insistent demands of the governing boards and faculties of the institutions and their patient and unremitting exposition of the end dispensable values of free universities to an open progressive and dynamic democratic society. One of the. There's nothing to argue or to violate an attorney and former president of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. This has been the second in a series of programs about
dimensions of academic freedom today presented by the University of Illinois radio service and the College of Law of the University of Illinois. The next program in this series will be presented by Sanford h Kadish professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley. His talk on the strike and the professoriate will be next on dimensions of academic freedom. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Dimensions in academic freedom
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#2 (Reel 2)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 69-10-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:23:34
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Chicago: “Dimensions in academic freedom; #2 (Reel 2),” 1968-12-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Dimensions in academic freedom; #2 (Reel 2).” 1968-12-30. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Dimensions in academic freedom; #2 (Reel 2). Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from