Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Penn State & Academic Freedom

Scott Jaschik reports in “Defining Academic Freedom,” Inside Higher Education, December 14, 2010 that Pennsylvania State University is revising its policy on academic freedom for faculty. It is removing this wording, "No faculty member may claim as a right the privilege of discussing in the classroom controversial topics outside his/her own field of study. The faculty member is normally bound not to take advantage of his/her position by introducing into the classroom provocative discussions of irrelevant subjects not within the field of his/her study." This revises a policy that the American Association of University Professors, said had been “one of the most restrictive and troubling policies limiting intellectual freedom in the classroom. . . . It undermined the normal human capacity to make comparisons and contrasts between different fields and between different cultures and historical periods. The revised policy is a vast improvement."

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