Academic Freedom News · 11 March 2005

March 11, 2005

  • Time Magazine covers the Academic Freedom Movement and the Academic Bill of Rights
  • David Horowitz testifies in front of the Ohio State Senate Education Committee
  • Pennsylvania State University Student Senate takes a stand for Academic Freedom by passing the Academic Bill of Rights
  • The attacks on the Academic Bill of Rights by the AAUP shows how deep their hypocrisy runs

In the March 14, issue of Time Magazine reporter Jeff Chu covers many aspects of the Academic Freedom movement. Throughout the article Chu discuss various issues and initiatives going on across the country. To read the full text of the article please follow the link: Fighting Words 101

On March 8, David Horowitz testified in front of the Ohio State Senate Education Committee. Senator Larry Mumper, sponsor of Senate Bill 24, the Academic Bill of Rights, invited Horowitz to testify about the abuses on college campuses in Ohio and across the country. The AAUP had circulated an email the week prior to all its members in Ohio, asking them to come to the state capitol and protest against the Academic Bill of Rights and the hearing room was crowded, but only one person in the audience was a professor who had answered the AAUP call . Horowitz gave a riveting testimony that was highlighted by the reading of an email that he had received from a student that attends the University of Cincinnati. The email read:

When I was in a course last year "Moral and Political Ideals" which is an intro to philosophy course that is a requirement for all Arts and Sciences majors. The professor told the class that if we wanted to have normal government and our student fees to go down, then "vote the f'ing republicans out of office this November." He called (President Bush) a "douche-bag" on a regular basis and harassed students that opposed his ideas.

The student provided other problems in a class that he is taking at this time, however considering that the professor still holds sway over his grades he is asking us not to publish the problems. Of course not everyone was convinced that there is a problem on America's campuses, first term State Senator Teresa Fedor seemed to misunderstand the whole meaning of the hearing and launched a personal attack against Mr. Horowitz, beginning with the question "How much do you earn," a question other senators could never remember having been asked before of a citizen testifying to their committee. The question was withdrawn. Senator Fedor either did not understand or did not care about Senate Bill 24 and used her platform to gain publicity for herself, it has been said that she is considering a run for the Secretary of State position. Being a former teacher it is clear that she holds no respect for student plights, like the one above, as long as teachers and professors have a bully pulpit in which to indoctrinate students she seems satisfied.

The Pennsylvania State University Student Senate passed the Academic Bill of Rights on March 2nd. Vicky Cangelosi a junior Senator at Penn State introduced the Academic Bill of Rights and it passed by a vote of 11 to 1. During her presentation Vicky told the story of a Professor calling a student a "f'ing idiot" because the student had a different political viewpoint than that of the Professor. The degradation of civility in the classroom has become a problem, students at Penn State are now taking a stand against that kind of abuse.

One of the most contentious points in the Academic Bill of Rights is the clause that suggests that Professors keep controversial materials out of the classroom that are not pertinent to the course. This clause seems to have raised the cackles of the AAUP and most of the professors that have come out against any version of the Academic Bill of Rights. What is most surprising about this is that clause was taken almost verbatim from the AAUP's own manual on Academic Freedom. First written in 1917 and then reaffirmed in 1940 the clause has also shown up on various faculty hand books across the country. The clause reads:

"Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject."

Why now has the AAUP and some Professors taken an about face on this subject? Because they know the power that they hold over students. It is their way to indoctrinate new recruits into their own perverse way of thinking. The AAUP is out to destroy education as we know it, and in its place will be a monolithic totalitarian university system that ends all debate on campuses.

Bradley Shipp

National Field Director

Students for Academic Freedom

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