Contested Truths and the Pursuit of Knowledge: A Forum on Academic Freedom
February 14, 2007
The first core value articulated in the UNH Academic Plan
states that, “the university will sustain and protect
the fundamental values of academic freedom and commitment
to the pursuit of knowledge.” The privileges and
responsibilities associated with academic freedom are intended
to enhance the ability of teachers, students, and academic
institutions in the pursuit of knowledge without undue
or unreasonable interference. The practice of academic
freedom inevitably raises questions about standards of
truth, the exercise of power in academic settings, and
the place of civic discourse in the academy.
- How can we assure the original principles of academic
freedom, as articulated by the AAUP’s 1940 “Statement
of Principles of Academic Freedom and Tenure” are
preserved and strengthened?
- Are there limits on the exercise of academic freedom?
What is the distinction between the principles of academic
freedom and the free speech protections found in the First
Amendment of the US Constitution?
- In public Universities, is there a role for public oversight
of the exercise of academic freedom?
- Do students need an academic bill of rights, as has been
proposed by some?
- At UNH, how can controversial topics such as global warming,
evolutionary biology, genomics, religious beliefs, conspiracy
theories, and political ideologies be addresses in classrooms
and public forums in a manner consistent with the principles
of academic freedom?
Join Provost Bruce Mallory and colleagues on Wednesday,
Feb. 28 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Piscataqua Room of Holloway
Commons, in an interactive conversation exploring the contemporary
challenges and promises of academic freedom. Provost Mallory
will be joined by:
- Mark Silverstein, Professor of Political Science, Boston
- Nancy Thomas, Acting Director, The Democracy Imperative
- Todd DeMitchell, Professor of Education and Justice Studies,
- Katherine Steere, Chair of the Academic Affairs Council,
UNH Student Senate
Sponsored by Academic Affairs Council of Student Senate,
Faculty Senate, the Discovery Program and the Office of the Provost.