America’s universities traditionally have been considered
places where the free exchange of ideas—academic freedom, in short—is not only welcome but, indeed, vital tothe purpose and proper functioning of higher education.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) defines it as:
Freedom of conscience in teaching and research is essential to maintain academic integrity and fulfill the basic purposes of higher education; consequently, any restriction on academic freedom raises grave issues of professional concern.
Academic freedom crisis
Neoconservative figure David Horowitz is the founder of Students for Academic Freedom, an organization whose aim is "to end the political abuse of the university and to restore integrity to the academic mission as a disinterested pursuit of knowledge.". This organization has chapters in various schools.
Several states have proposed bills and resolutions aimed to end the academic freedom crisis.
A few decisions suggest that academic freedom is a constitutional right implied by the First Amendment and reserved by the Ninth Amendment. See Keyishian v. Board of Regents, 385 U.S. 589, 603 (1967). But such a right is "ill-defined and the case law defining it is inconsistent." Hillis v. Stephen F. Austin State University, 665 F.2d 547, 553 (5th Cir. 1982). Perhaps this right protects only the educational process itself. See id.; see also Keyishian, 385 U.S. at 603; NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415, 433 (1963).
- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/academic%20freedom Merriam-Webster.com
- Quoted in the Thomas Aquinas College Founding Document: III. Academic Freedom. Retrieved on 2012-04-27., originally in A.A.U.P. Bulletin. Winter, 67.
- http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org/about/ About Students for Academic Freedom
- http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org/chapters/ SAF Chapters
- http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org/documents/?c=Legislation-Texts SAF Legislation Texts