“Freedom is a culture, not merely a set of rules, and a culture must be nurtured.”
Higher education needs more of this, not less.
The College Fix reports:
More than 1,000 professors sign on to ‘Stanford Academic Freedom Declaration’
More than 1,000 professors across the country have signed the “Stanford Academic Freedom Declaration” that calls on universities to restore free speech, academic freedom and institutional neutrality.
The open letter calls on universities and professors to adopt and implement the “Chicago Trifecta” — the Chicago Principles on unilateral free speech, the Kalven report that requires institutional neutrality on political and social topics, and the Shils report, making “academic contribution the sole basis for hiring and promotion.”
As of Thursday the letter had 1,095 signatures, and it increases daily.
“The larger hope is to bring back academic freedom on campus and in the academic enterprise more generally,” Stanford economist and co-author John Cochrane said in an email to The College Fix. “Only with robust academic freedom, the ability to investigate ideas and bring out uncomfortable facts, does scholarship bring about new and reliable knowledge, especially on crucial issues to our society.”
The loss of academic freedom, the letter states, is tied to a leadership crisis.
Many university leaders want to uphold free speech yet “punish those who express views deemed to be incorrect and enforce ideological conformity in hiring and promotions,” it states.
Underscoring the problem is the fact that purse strings — funding resources — are tied to following the accepted narrative instead of a free exchange of ideas, Cochrane said.
“[A]cademic freedom, free speech, and the pursuit of scholarly excellence are under siege at universities, in professional societies, and in government agencies, including those that give grants,” Cochrane said. “Simple facts cannot be spoken out loud. Research that comes to conclusions that counter political narratives can’t be conducted, published, or popularized.”
The declaration signers call on their universities to implement the “Chicago Trifecta” to help resolve that problem: “Freedom is a culture, not merely a set of rules, and a culture must be nurtured.”
Professor Jacobson is one of the signatories.DONATE
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