“Protecting academic freedom is the AAUP’s core mission. Academic freedom is the indispensable requisite for unfettered teaching and research in institutions of higher education. As the academic community’s core policy document states, “institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition”  (Protecting Academic Freedom,”  American Association of University Professors)

On Tuesday I came upon an interesting “Letter from the Nebraska Conference of the American Association of University Professors,” published in the Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star.

The opening paragraph summarizes the issues:

“To the University of Nebraska Community:
 We are concerned that at the highest levels of the University of Nebraska system, decisions involving the future of the University are being made without transparency or proper governance and under improper exertions of influence by the legislative and executive branches of the state government. We fear that financial hostage-taking by members of the state government will result in changes by the administration in the intellectual offerings of the University and opportunities for our students. We believe it is imperative to express our alarm now, before irrevocable damage is done to the mission of the university and the value it contributes to the state of Nebraska. We insist that no radical changes be undertaken in the administration, academic programs, allocation of funds, or support for campus initiatives without appropriate faculty governance, transparency, and respect for academic freedom, which are core values of a healthy university.  .  .  . “


The phrase, “academic freedom” is the one we must all keep in mind.  It is the vibrant heart and soul of American higher education and “successful” it has been as young people from all over the world come to this country to study in our colleges and universities.  A higher education system that has led our country to the greatness we enjoy today.

There was an initial comment to that letter from a reader that contained the sentence, ”If the professors who signed the letter don’t like working for the State of NE .  .  . , then I suggest these professors go find work at a private institution.”

I’m sorry that some individuals fail to see the major difference between “working for any state institution” and being a professor/instructor at a state university.  University teachers are protected, as they should be, from governmental whims.  Without that protection, free exchange of ideas and free discussion would not be able to take place.

Unfortunately, today the majority serving in our Congress and various State Legislatures pursue “reelection” as their number one goal.  “What will win me the most votes” as opposed to “What is the best course of action I can take to improve the futures of the citizens I serve.”   

If this country we all love is going to continue to lead the world, we must keep the politicians out of higher education.

Academic freedom must remain sacrosanct!

More on Monday  –  –  –

  — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

         November 29, 2017  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)