Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

On Thursday, June 12, 2014, the AAUP’s One Hundredth Annual Meeting convened in Washington, DC. Hank Reichman, chair of the AAUP’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, delivered the meeting's opening plenary address—“Can I Tweet That? Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications”—on the impact of digital documentation and communication on academic freedom.

Demers v. Austin, 746 F.3d 402 (9th Cir. Wash. Jan. 29, 2014)

In this important decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinforced the First Amendment protections for academic speech by faculty members.  Adopting an approach advanced in AAUP’s amicus brief, the court emphasized the seminal importance of academic speech. Accordingly, the court concluded that the Garcetti analysis did not apply to "speech related to scholarship or teaching,” and therefore the First Amendment could protect this speech even when undertaken "pursuant to the official duties" of a teacher and professor.

AAUP Takes UIUC to Task for Apparent Summary Dismissal

Actions taken against professor Steven Salaita appear to amount to summary dismissal, which is categorically inimical to academic freedom and due process, says a letter sent today to UIUC chancellor Phyllis Wise.

On Trigger Warnings

A current threat to academic freedom in the classroom comes from a demand that teachers provide warnings in advance if assigned material contains anything that might trigger difficult emotional responses for students.

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