Interesting notes from “Minding the Campus” on the use and misuse of the concept of academic freedom.

The City University of New York (CUNY) serves as a type of funhouse mirror to faculty conditions throughout the academy: for a variety of structural reasons (the vise-like grip of the faculty union and the legacy of economic difficulties in the 1970s and 1980s, which drove out many high-quality scholars searching for better-paying jobs, leaving behind a disproportionate share of ideologues) the university suffers from an extreme version of academic groupthink. In this respect, conditions at CUNY can illustrate with particular clarity broader problems in the academy.

One such case involves effort of the AAUP and other defenders of the academic status quo to redefine “academic freedom” into a concept suggesting that professors whose views represent the majority in the academy should be free from criticism, regardless of its validity.

The Groupthink Version Of Academic Freedom.

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