Sunday, October 5, 2008

Free inquiry at risk: universities in dangerous times

On October 29, 30 and 31, Social Research, the journal of The New School for Social Research in New York City, will host Free Inquiry at Risk: Universities in Dangerous Times in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the University in Exile at The New School. This three-day conference will feature leading scientists, academics, and university presidents in public dialogue about the trends facing universities around the world that put academic freedom and free inquiry at risk. The keynote event will be on 30 October at 6:00PM at which Aryeh Neier, President, Open Society Institute, will talk with endangered scholars from Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Belarus and China.
More information at or email socres [at]

Friday, October 3, 2008

Adjuncts Fight Back Over Academic Freedom

"Steven Bitterman was on his way to teach a course in Western civilization at Southwestern Community College last fall" ... "he got a telephone call from one of the college's vice presidents, saying he had been fired. Three students, the vice president told Mr. Bitterman, were offended because he had told his class that people could more easily appreciate the biblical story of Adam and Eve if they considered it a myth." ...
"The American Association of University Professors is also paying more attention to the academic freedom of professors who work off the tenure track. Such instructors now make up nearly 70 percent of the nation's professoriate. The instructors who have been fired typically have been terminated after discussing hot-button issues: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, religion, and homosexuality, for example."
Read full story in Chronicle of Higher Education here