Agreement on Academic Freedom Reached in Ohio · 15 September 2005

September 15, 2005
Contact: Michael Finch
800-752-6562, ext. 212

Agreement on Academic Freedom Reached in Ohio

The Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) reached an agreement yesterday with the senate sponsors of the Ohio Academic Bill of Rights (Senate Bill 24) to implement several core principles of academic freedom in all public and private colleges and universities in the state.

David Horowitz, the author of the Academic Bill of Rights and chairman of Students for Academic Freedom, welcomed this compromise as a "major advance in the battle for academic freedom which will benefit all students in Ohio's college and universities."

Under the compromise reached with the legislature, the IUC agreed to adopt a resolution closely based on the statement issued this summer by the American Council on Education, which was inspired by the Academic Bill of Rights.

This resolution will affirm several crucial principles including:

• Intellectual pluralism and academic freedom are central principles of American higher education.

• Students should not be discriminated against politically.

• Universities should create grievance procedures for students facing discrimination for their political views.

The primary sponsor of Senate Bill 24, Sen. Larry Mumper, hailed the agreement as a victory for Ohio's students. "This action is a bold decision on the part of the IUC and I believe it will positively impact students who attend Ohio's colleges and universities," Mumper said. "Since the introduction of SB 24, I have maintained that the vast majority of classrooms in Ohio are already held to these standards, but for the rare instances in which a student feels threatened or belittled, I am pleased that there will now be procedures in place to remedy the situation."

The IUC is planning to communicate the resolution on academic freedom to students in a variety of ways, including though orientation programs, mailings, student handbooks, course catalogs, and university websites and email communications.

Students for Academic Freedom is a national movement to restore academic diversity and educational values to America's institutions of higher learning. The organization recommends that colleges and universities adopt an Academic Bill of Rights to ensure that these principles are respected. The Academic Bill of Rights is available on the organization's website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.

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