44.3 F
Oxford

UM Faculty Senate Passes Resolution to Reaffirm the University’s Commitment to Academic Freedom

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Earlier this month, the University of Mississippi Faculty Senate unanimously passed a resolution to reaffirm the university’s commitment to academic freedom.

The resolution was brought to the Senate to address growing concerns of the commitment of the administration and in particular, the chancellor, to the American Association of University Professors’ 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

“These principles are the foundation of academic institutions the world over, and are critical to the unimpeded pursuit of knowledge,” Associate Professor of Biology and Faculty Senate Chair Brice Noonan to Hottytoddy.com recently.

The resolution was created by the Faculty Senate’s Governance Committee and discussed and edited with input from the members of that committee and the Senate Executive Committee.

A substitute motion was presented at the Senate meeting on Dec. 5, that spoke more broadly on the issue of freedom of expression, but the substitute motion was not approved due to a lack of a second to the motion to approve.

The resolution comes after an Oct. 11 editorial written by Chancellor Jeff Vitter that appeared in the Daily Mississippian, questioning the methods employed by faculty members whose “credentials and expertise have been recognized by the University and whose research was approved by the Institutional Research Board” after four sociology professors published a report titled “Microaggressions at the University of Mississippi.”

Following the editorial, University leaders released a statement attempting to clarify the administration’s commitment to academic freedom and Vitter’s comments in the editorial.

The resolution passed by the Faculty Senate states: “The Faculty Senate reaffirms the necessity of academic freedom to the University’s mission, upholds the 1940 ‘Statement of Principles,’ and encourages senior leadership to use their positions of authority judiciously, to generally refrain from questioning the credibility of faculty scholarship, and to recognize and mitigate against any and all threats to academic freedom.”

Read the entire resolution passed Dec. 5 by the Faculty Senate below:

Faculty Senate
5 December 2018

WHEREAS academic freedom is essential to the University of Mississippi’s mission to “create, evaluate, share, and apply knowledge in a free, open, and inclusive environment of intellectual inquiry;” and

WHEREAS the University of Mississippi endorses the American Association of University Professors’ 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which states “the common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition” and that academic freedom is “fundamental to the advancement of truth;” and

WHEREAS the Chancellor, who, as leader of the University, is presumed to speak for the University as a whole and commands the attention of a wide audience that is further expanded by the extensive reach of the internet and social media; and

WHEREAS the Chancellor published an editorial on October 11, 2018, questioning the methods employed by members of the University faculty whose credentials and expertise have been recognized by the University and whose research was approved by the Institutional Research Board; and

WHEREAS public statements of this sort have a chilling effect on intellectual inquiry and academic freedom on campus; and

WHEREAS the internet and social media create an instant platform for the widespread dispersal of public statements such as the Chancellor’s and at the same time magnify the demands of self-appointed watchdogs external to the University; and

WHEREAS senior leadership at the University plays an essential role in defending academic freedom;

BE IT RESOLVED that, on behalf of the faculty of the University of Mississippi, the Faculty Senate reaffirms the necessity of academic freedom to the University’s mission, upholds the 1940 “Statement of Principles,” and encourages senior leadership to use their positions of authority judiciously, to generally refrain from questioning the credibility of faculty scholarship, and to recognize and mitigate against any and all threats to academic freedom.

THE SENATE OF THE FACULTY

Most Popular

Recent Comments

scamasdscamith on News Watch Ole Miss
Frances Phillips on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Grace Hudditon on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Millie Johnston on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Binary options + Bitcoin = $ 1643 per week: https://8000-usd-per-day.blogspot.com.tr?b=46 on Beta Upsilon Chi: A Christian Brotherhood
Jay Mitchell on Reflections: The Square
Terry Wilcox SFCV USA RET on Oxford's Five Guys Announces Opening Date
Stephanie on Throwback Summer
organized religion is mans downfall on VP of Palmer Home Devotes Life to Finding Homes for Children
Paige Williams on Boyer: Best 10 Books of 2018
Keith mansel on Cleveland On Medgar Evans