Academic Freedom and the Mission of the University

My contribution to the 26th Annual Frankel Law Center Lecture in November 2021 was as a commentator. Jeannie M. Gersen from Harvard Law School delivered the keynote on “Academic Freedom and Discrimination during Polarizing Times.” Berkeley Law School Professor Khiara Ma. Bridges, and myself gave their responses. A recording can be viewed here.

As part of the Symposium issue, my paper “Academic Freedom & the Mission of the Universities” will be published. Houston Law ReviewLater in the year. The draft is now available at SSRN.  The abstract is:

The particular purpose of universities will dictate the effectiveness of academic freedom. To fulfill a higher education system where institutions are committed to truth-seeking, the advancement and diffusion of knowledge, robust protections of academic freedom for students and professors is vital. The foundation was set for American universities to develop ideas and practice academic freedom. If universities place truth-seeking above academic freedom, it is less effective and even counterproductive. There are many competing mission at play in universities. If any one of these becomes central to understanding the operation and rationale of American universities, academic freedom will ultimately be lost as an effective set of protections to dissident scholars.

The full paper can be downloaded here.