The blog of Academe Magazine. Opinions published here do not necessarily represent the policies of the AAUP.
Some good news: in a new survey of teenagers by the Knight Foundation, the percentage of high school students who believe “the First Amendment goes too far” in protecting the rights of citizens has dropped to a quarter (24 percent) in 2011 from nearly half (45 percent) in 2006. The more alarming news comes from the survey of high school teachers: “Most teachers also do not support free expression for students. Only 35 percent, for example, agree that ‘high school students should be allowed to report controversial issues in their student newspapers without the approval of school authorities.’”
Chandler Davis was honored at the University of Michigan last week, 57 years after he was fired for his involvement in the Communist Party. Davis refused to testify on First Amendment grounds and was found guilty of contempt of Congress, eventually going to jail in 1960. What’s most interesting about this story is that English professor Alan Wald was given a named professorship and allowed to choose the person he wanted it named for, picking Davis. There’s a great idea: have professorships named for people who deserve it instead of people who purchase it.
Last week, the University of Illinois withdrew a proposed revision to email policies after the AAUP and FIRE sent a joint letter raising First Amendment concerns.
One of the great bookstores ever, the Seminary Co-op Bookstore near the University of Chicago, is turning 50 years old and planning a move out of its claustrophobic basement store.