A recent article from Associated Press (12/17/2010) “Scientist Alleges Religious Discrimination in KY” highlights the increasing tensions and conversations concerning Academic Freedom on University and College campuses across the United States. These questions include; what is meant by academic freedom, and who defines it. Recent articles have broken down these and other questions into an interrelated set of connections that make the answer to any and all of the above questions complex and worthy of much conversation. This paper provides a review of the current literature from the foundations of Academic Freedom to the current controversies that are occurring, to addressing the possible risks of involvement of the court/legal system in addressing them within the U.S. College and University system. A survey was developed to explore how faculty in various departments understand academic freedom and the associated ethical responsibilities. The survey was voluntary and limited to North Carolina A&T State University. Overall, confusion existed around the concept of academic freedom and around a lack of clarity of the boundaries of protection and faculty responsibility. The results from this survey found that differences in understanding the concept of academic freedom, its impact on faculty teaching and research, and the limits of its protection where influenced by the length of time that the faculty member had worked within the system.
|Keywords:||Academic Freedom Concept, Ethical Responsibility of Professorships|
Assistant Professor, College of Technology, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work, College of Art and Science, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
Chair of Civil Engineering, Civil, Architectural Engineering Department,, College of Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA