Academic Freedom News · 18 April 2004

Monday, April 12, 2004

In today's blog I want to introduce you to Academic Freedom News which is our weekly report on the academic freedom campaign. You can subscribe to this newsletter (free) by going to www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org and clicking on "Academic Freedom News" at the top of the lefthand frame. Note that when you do so you'll be one of nearly 128,000 unique individuals who have visited the site since its launching in September.

Academic Freedom News

This issue of the Academic Freedom News brings you the latest in recent media coverage on the Academic Bill of Rights and the intellectual diversity movement. Also this week: exciting legislative developments in California and an overview of techniques that students are using to push the Academic Bill of Rights and academic freedom on their campuses…

In the News…

While in Boston last week David sat down with Anthony Brooks of NPR to discuss the Academic Bill of Rights and the overwhelmingly left-leaning slant at America's universities. The story was on NPR's Morning Edition on Tuesday, April 6th. You can listen to the full story, via streaming audio, by clicking States Eye Protections for Campus Conservatives on NPR's website.

The editorial board of the Washington Times came out in full support of the Academic Bill of Rights on Sunday. Titled Intellectual Diversity on Campus, the editorial discusses the full breadth of the intellectual and academic diversity movement that was started by David Horowitz.

David Horowitz discusses last week's excellent New York Times article on his blog provides insight into the amazing growth of Students for Academic Freedom over the course of the past year.

Readers of the New York Times article posted in today's issue of FrontPagemag.com will appreciate that this is a milestone in the efforts of the academic freedom movement to reform higher education and restore the integrity of the educational mission to our institutions of higher learning. We have changed the original title ("Taking Liberalism Out of Liberal Arts") because we thought it was misleading. This is a problem of our political lexicon created by the left's successful determination to hide its totalitarian agendas and history behind the term "liberal." Actually, the purpose of the academic freedom movement is to restore liberal values -- tolerance, inclusion, fairness -- to academic institutions where leftists posing as liberals have created an environment that is intolerant, exclusionary and anything but fair. (To read the rest of the entry, click the link "David's Blog")

In the Legislatures…

The biggest legislative news last week came from California, where State Senator Bill Morrow introduced the Academic Bill of Rights. When asked about the need for legislation the Senator replied, "Too many campuses sanction policies and behaviors that destroy information flow and honest debate. We see public humiliation and harassment of students who insist on thinking for themselves: Theft and destruction of student newspapers; Organized demonstrations against and shouting down of visiting speakers who present alternative points of views; Reluctance to hire or grant tenure to professors who promote intellectual diversity. We're sliding into a medieval 'Dark Age' mentality that is actively hostile toward truth, learning and free speech."

The California Senate Education Committee will hold a hearing on April 21st, where students will be given the opportunity to testify about the discrimination they have faced because of their political beliefs.

On the Campuses…

The best way to initiate the push for academic freedom on your campus is by following the lead of Princeton junior Evan Baehr who recently started a new chapter of Students for Academic Freedom and has received some outstanding press coverage in the campus newspaper, the Daily Princetonian. By doing so, Evan has given a voice to those at Princeton who feel discriminated against because of their political beliefs. There are now over 133 Students for Academic Freedom chapters across the country. Students who are interested in starting a chapter at their university should e-mail the National Campus Director Sara Dogan at sara@studentsforacademicfreedom.org.

At the University of Texas in Austin, Students for Academic Freedom President Erin Randall has voiced her opposition of a new university "honor code" that would function as a speech code and limit freedom of expression. Erin has also been engaged in a discussion with UT President Larry Faulkner about adding intellectual diversity to the university mission statement. We applaud Erin for working to change the culture at UT to make it a place of learning, not indoctrination.

To keep up date on all academic freedom news and issues visit our website: www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org

Yours in the struggle,

Bradley Shipp
bshipp@cspc.org