8/30/2006

Learning Dialogue: Academic Freedom

The Faculty Association of the California Community Colleges (FACCC) makes the following statements related to Academic Freedom:

FACCC believes that the right to study and teach in an open environment permissive of diversity in expression and content is essential to the educational process.
FACCC also believes that community college environments should be free of acts of discrimination and harassment, and that people at community colleges should observe the highest ethical norms of society.

Ohlone's policy statement on academic freedom can be found at:
http://www.ohlone.edu/org/board/policy/chapter6reg.htm#r6.6

What are thought thoughts about the meaning of academic freedom?

2 Comments:

At 8/30/2006, Blogger Sheldon said...

I'm glad to see this issue being brought up because I think it's one that is talked "at," but not "about."

Some of you may remember a couple of years ago when a barrage of Letters to the Editor were published in the "Monitor" in which gays and lesbians were repeatedly castigated. After reading these for several weeks, I finally asked for faculty, staff, and administration to join me in signing a Letter of Support for our GLBT students, staff, faculty, and administration to be published in the "Monitor."

The reaction was not at all what I expected. Although about 100 people agreed to have their names attached to the letter, I received numerous emails and voicemails from people who accused me of trampling on people's First Amendment rights, and/or suggested that I also express support for heterosexuals in the statement!

I can't help thinking that, had this been an issue of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender, the response would have reflected much more solidarity, and I wouldn't have heard many questions of First Amendment rights or calls for supporting groups who hadn't been repeatedly attacked.

In short, although we often talk about "diversity" and "multi-culturalism" here at Ohlone, I think we often lose out on opportunities to take action and demonstrate our beliefs about those issues. The fact that so much static was created when Domestic Partner Benefits were requested shows this as well, giving rise to some pretty insensitive remarks from at least one Board of Trustees member.

 
At 11/02/2007, Blogger Jon said...

Just in case someone has missed this recent fury circulating the bloggersphere (realizing that it should not warrent any attention, but everyone still needs to be aware that this notion exists in a very 'real' way:

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/challenges.php?id=1385102: Universities and Colleges rank #2 in "The Ten Most Dangerous Organizations in America".

 

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