Middlesex: RIP Academic Freedom, we harldy knew ye…..


An unfortunate turn of events at Middlesex.  From the campaign site:

Some Middlesex University Philosophy students, along with Philosophy professors Peter Osborne and Peter Hallward, were suspended from the University this afternoon. Hallward and Osborne were issued with letters announcing their suspension from the University with immediate effect, pending investigation into their involvement in the recent campus occupations. The suspension notice blocks them from entering University premises or contacting in any way University students and employees without the permission of Dean Ed Esche (e.esche@mdx.ac.uk) or a member of the University’s Executive.

Seems a bit “thugish” to me.  Panic abounds, it would seem.

AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom Launched


AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom:

With this issue we introduce a new online project—the AAUP Journal of  Academic Freedom. Scholarship on academic freedom—and on its relation to  shared governance, tenure, and collective bargaining—is typically scattered across a wide range of disciplines. People who want to keep up with the field thus face a difficult task. Moreover, there is no one place to track the  developing international discussion about academic freedom and its collateral issues. Edited collections and special issues of journals have helped fill the  need for many years, but there has been no single journal devoted to the subject. Now there is. It is published by the organization most responsible  for defining academic freedom.

Publishing online gives us many advantages, the first being the ability to  offer free access to everyone interested. A link to this inaugural issue will go  out by e-mail to nearly 400,000 faculty members. We hope they forward it to students and colleagues everywhere. Online publication also gives us the  freedom to publish quite substantial scholarly essays, something that would be much more costly in print.

We invite people to submit essays for our next issue. Whether the journal is published as an annual volume or twice a year will depend in part on the  number of quality submissions we receive. We will also maintain a continuing  relationship with the AAUP’s annual conference on the state of higher education, itself founded in 2009. We are publishing four essays from the  2009 conference but expect to increase that number next time. This first  issue is devoted to essays solicited by the editor, with members of the
editorial board checking essays for historical errors. The next issue will be  conventionally refereed. Neither the editor nor the board members are ex officio. All were appointed on the basis of their publishing history and expertise.

Here’s the Table of Contents of the first volume: Continue reading

File under Academic Freedom


Inside Higher Education reports on a conference last week at the New School on Academic Freedom and the University.

“It is by no means clear how much the academic community has learned from the McCarthy years,” said Ellen W. Schrecker, a professor of history at Yeshiva University who, like O’Neil, spoke Thursday during a conference focused on “Free Inquiry at Risk: Universities in Dangerous Times,” held at The New School, in New York City.

Citing some examples, Schrecker mentioned the University of Nebraska’s recent cancellation of a speaking appearance by William Ayers, the education professor whose history with the Weather Underground has played a prominent role in the presidential campaign; the high-profile dismissal of Ward Churchill from the University of Colorado; and the tenure denial of Norman Finkelstein at DePaul University. “Universities are still accommodating themselves to the demands of politicians and other outsiders to eliminate embarrassing faculty members,” Schrecker said.

“In the name of financial exigency and market competitiveness, administrators have been subverting the autonomy of the faculty. Worse yet, faculties are disappearing,” she continued. “Two-thirds, that’s two-thirds of today’s teaching, is being done by what’s known as contingent faculty members. These people, no matter how skilled or qualified they may be, cannot provide the same kind of education as a traditional faculty.” Continue reading