March 10, 2005

The devil's in the details

So I've looked at the "academic bill of rights" introduced in the Florida legislature, and there's something very curious about it, as I noted earlier: there's absolutely nothing in it either about the academic freedom of faculty or about the freedom of the institution from legislative meddling, which does appear in the so-called model language on the Students for Academic Freedom site: "Nor shall legislatures impose any such orthodoxy through their control of the university budget." I'm not surprised that language doesn't appear in the Florida bill, since our legislature is infamous for that exact meddling.

But the bills in other legislatures—Colorado last year and Ohio this year—are similarly narrow in focus, with no pretense that they want to make sure the institution's curriculum is free from political pressures.

If the "model" is sloppily written, what does it say about the bills that they don't include any pretense at balancing things?

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Posted in Academic freedom on March 10, 2005 11:04 AM |