At its simplest, academic freedom may be defined as the freedom to conduct research, teach, speak, and publish, subject to the norms and standards of scholarly inquiry, without interference or penalty, wherever the search for truth and understanding may lead.That should sound pretty familiar to us here in Wisconsin. I read the document as a call to arms for all of us. Here's where they throw down the gauntlet:
Today, … the American Federation of Teachers issues this statement out of a deep sense of urgency about the status of academic freedom now and in the future. Increasingly, we see a variety of threats to the practices that support academic freedom. These include:That pretty well sums it up. These are all issues here at Wisconsin, of course, and some of them are burning bright right now. But note how it's mostly about money, always with the corporatist political angle lurking in there.
- The increasingly vocational focus of higher education;
- Loss of financial support for colleges and universities;
- Corporate-style management practices;
- Political attacks on faculty and instructional staff;
- The erosion of academic staffing through the loss of full-time tenured positions and the financial and professional mistreatment of contingent faculty members.
You should read the report and draw your own conclusions.
Image from here.