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Shared Governance and Academic Freedom: The Foundations of Higher Education and Their Uncertain Future

September 29, 2021 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

While the history of higher education is one of constant tensions among state, private and faculty power, recent attacks on the work of researchers and educators are more subject to disinformation and political polarization than in decades past. The sometimes indistinct boundaries of academic freedom make the discussion about what it is or should be more challenging; the public itself is largely disconnected from that discussion and how such principles and practices serve or should serve them.

In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court wrote that “our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, which is of transcendent value to all of us, and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment.” The Court observed that “the Nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas which discovers truth ‘out of a multitude of tongues, [rather] than through any kind of authoritative selection’.”

This two-part seminar, sponsored by the Royster Society of Fellows and the UNC Graduate School, is designed to educate students, faculty and the public about the principles, practices, and history of academic freedom and shared governance in the U.S. It will also consider new and emerging critiques that challenge principles that have traditionally been viewed as inviolate.

The first session will focus on the history that brought us to the present moment and will help contextualize the debate.

Panelists include:



September 29, 2021
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: