Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Academic Bill of Rights in New York

Some conservative thinktank called The Democracy Project reports that David Horowitz's Academic Bill of Rights will be introduced in New York's legislature again.

The legislation would force all public colleges (and maybe all private colleges, since the bill's wording is vague) to adopt the Academic Bill of Rights and grievance procedures to enforce it. This means professors could be hauled before investigatory boards for thought crimes such as "PERSISTENTLY INTRODUCE CONTROVERSIAL MATTER INTO THE CLASSROOM OR COURSEWORK THAT HAS NO RELATION TO THE SUBJECT OF STUDY AND THAT SERVES NO LEGITIMATE PEDAGOGICAL PURPOSE" or failing to promote "THE FOSTERING OF A PLURALITY OF SERIOUS SCHOLARLY METHODOLOGIES AND PERSPECTIVES."

Phil Orenstein claims, "No government bodies are going to interfere." But the legislation itself is interference. And if a university fails to satisfactorily punish professors who talk about politics, then it can be sued for violating the law. So this is all about interference by government bodies.

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