Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Point Of View

Here's another point of view about tenure:.
Yes, faculty really do believe, with good reason, that tenure is the only viable protection for various types of academic freedom, despite other legal safeguards for the general populace and non-faculty employees.  Academic freedom is still necessary to enable unfettered thought in the classroom and in research.  The central characteristic of “creating knowledge” is that one must explore new ideas, whose very newness is often greeted by hostility from those espousing the accepted wisdom  -- e.g. Galileo as victim.  Another type of violation of academic freedom is the imposing of an idea, by a Board or an administrator --for example, “creationism“ -- which goes against a faculty member’s considered, research-based opinion.  And the dismissal of the tenured Berkeley Eleven, during the Reagan years in California, for refusing to sign the loyalty oath entails yet another “taking” of academic freedom and tenure.  All are still, and increasingly, possible today.

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