The occasional flaps between professors at Roman Catholic institutions and the bishops in their dioceses often hinge on whether allegiance to church orthodoxy trumps the free spirit of inquiry celebrated in academe. The church’s efforts to strike a balance between those two sometimes-competing values will soon be brought to the forefront again, as bishops begin a formal review of how well colleges are upholding their Catholic identities.
The University of Minnesota was sued in federal court Tuesday over allegations that a website maintained by its Holocaust studies center defamed a Turkish-American organization in a way that raised First Amendment and due process issues. The suit came just days after the Holocaust center removed the material that is the focus of the suit -- although the university maintains that it acted as part of a routine review and not because of the threat of litigation.
That's reality, according to Daniel Petersen, who has taught philosophy for 21 years at Hawaii Community College and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. And it's a reality he shared -- in those words -- with his students. Now he says he is sharing that reality in the collapse of his teaching career, which he attributes to the aftermath of a complaint from the father of a student over a few instances of profanity in his class at the community college.
Oregon’s Lane Community College is embroiled in controversy after administrators there canceled a noncredit course on Islam just as concerns about its instructor were made public last week. Now, both sides could be heading for a lawsuit.
It's not just civil libertarians who worry that 9/11 has been used to justify insidious state overreach; academics have a mounting set of concerns, too. A new essay collection, Academic Freedom in the Post 9/11 Era (Macmillan), whose contributors include Cornel West, Noam Chomsky and Henry Giroux, makes the case that universities are in trouble. Its editors are Edward J. Carvalho and David B. Downing.