In a big win for academic freedom, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the 2006 Supreme Court case Garcetti v Cebellos does not apply to the scholarship and teaching of faculty at public institutions.
Perhaps it was inevitable that academic freedom would get pulled into the increasingly heated political maelstrom in Wisconsin and Michigan.
Faculty in both states have come under fire from conservative organizations concerned with Wisconsin's collective bargaining fight. Groups in both states are using open-records requests in a heavy handed attempt to intimidate their political opponents on campus into silence.
After hearing from students and faculty across the state, Iowa legislators defeated the latest attempt to clamp down on the free exchange of ideas in Iowa college classrooms. The so-called “intellectual diversity” bill died in the Education Committee after its hearing.
The Supreme Court has declined to hear the University of Wisconsin’s appeal in Badger Catholic Inc. v. Walsh et al. The University had asked the Court to overturn the 7th Circuit's decision requiring it fund student religious speech as part of the forum created by student activity fees.
Across the country students and faculty are returning to campus this month for the start of the spring semester. As the semester starts up again I’d like to take a moment to update you on a few developments from over the winter break:
Oregon State University is coming under fire after canceling an invitation to Tristan Taormino, a self-described feminist pornographer, to be the keynote speaker for the school’s upcoming Modern Sex Conference.
UPDATE February 1st: Inside Higher Ed reports that Peterson-Overton has been rehired for his teaching position. The American Association of University Professors describes this as “a victory for Academic Freedom and for the faculty.”
Faculty at the University of Wisconsin – Madison successfully passed a new University policy this week firmly establishing their rights to academic freedom and shared governance.
The resolution amends the university policy regarding faculty rights to include the following two paragraphs:
University of Illinois – Chicago Professor William Ayers filed suit today against the University of Wyoming for barring him from speaking on campus.