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Table of Contents

The Academic Bill of Rights: Yea or Nay?

The Academic Bill of Rights - What is It?

It's My Right!...

Thelmo Resolution in Support of Civility, Free Speech and Dialogue

Is Tolerance Enough

If We Agree in Love

The Responsible Use of Freedom

Sticks and Stones...

What's Out There: Researching Academic Freedom

Alumni Accomplishments

The Kenya Connection

Laurentian Reviews

Table of Contents

The Academic Bill of Rights – What Is It?

Excerpts from a statement from the American Association of University Professors that was assigned reading for those participating in the colloquium (the full statement, along with other assigned reading, can be found at

The (recent) past has witnessed repeated efforts to establish what has been called an "Academic Bill of Rights." Based upon data purporting to show that Democrats greatly outnumber Republicans in faculty positions, advocates would require universities to maintain political pluralism and diversity.

The proposed Academic Bill of Rights directs universities to enact guidelines implementing the principle of neutrality, in particular by requiring that colleges and universities appoint faculty "with a view toward fostering a plurality of methodologies and perspectives." Advocates make clear that they seek to enforce a kind of diversity that is instead determined by essentially political categories, like the number of Republicans or Democrats on a faculty, or the number of conservatives or liberals.

The Academic Bill of Rights also seeks to enforce the principle that "faculty members will not use their courses or their position for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or antireligious indoctrination." The bill seeks to transfer responsibility for the evaluation of student competence to college and university administrators or to the courts, apparently on the premise that faculty ought to be stripped of the authority to make such evaluative judgments.