In this passionately argued overview, a long-time activist-scholar takes readers through the changing landscape of academic freedom. From the aftermath of September 11th to the new frontier of blogging, Robert O'Neil examines the tension between institutional and individual interests. Many cases boil down to a hotly contested question: who has the right to decide what is taught in the classroom?O'Neil shows how courts increasingly restrict professorial judgment, and how the feeble protection of what is posted on the Internet and written in email makes academics more vulnerable than ever. Even more provocatively, O'Neil argues, the newest threats to academic freedom come not from government, but from the private sector. Corporations increasingly sponsor and control university-based research, while self-appointed watchdogs systematically harass individual teachers on websites and blogs. Most troubling, these threats to academic freedom are nearly immune from legal recourse.Insisting that new concepts of academic freedom, and new strategies for maintaining it are needed, O'Neil urges academics to work together - and across rigid and simplistic divisions between "left" and "right."
Robert M. O'Neil is University Professor and Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. He is the former president of the University of Virginia and founder of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.
1. Discovering Academic Freedom 2. Protecting Academic Freedom 3. Academic Freedom in the Courts 4. Academic Freedom in Time of Crisis 5. Academic Research and Academic Freedom 6. Academic Freedom and Artistic Freedom 7. Academic Freedom in Cyberspace 8. Whose Academic Freedom? 9. Bias, Balance, and Beyond: New Threats to Academic Freedom 10. Academic Freedom in Perspective Notes Index