Please save the date for the annual Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture on Academic and Intellectual Freedom, which will take place on Thursday, November 9, 2023, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. This event is sponsored by the Faculty Senate as a showcase event underscoring the U-M community’s collective interest in academic freedom. The invited speaker is Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D., who is the director of free expression and education programs at PEN America. He will be delivering a lecture entitled “Academic Freedom 2024: Educational Gag Orders, State Censorship, and the Fight for Higher Education.” An abstract is provided below.
The lecture is open to the public and will be given in Honigman Auditorium, 100 Hutchins Hall, at the University of Michigan Law School. More information on the event will be updated here: https://myumi.ch/zwVAZ. A reminder email will also be sent closer to the date of the event.
Luke McCarthy, Ph.D., J.D.
Director, Faculty Senate Office
Across the country, state legislators are increasingly making clear their intentions to pass laws to tighten control over — or outright censor — public education in schools, colleges and universities. On campuses, this movement threatens to upend commitments to the free exchange of ideas and institutional autonomy in curricular, research, and hiring decisions, putting academic freedom in peril. Professors are already attesting to a chilled climate, in which they have become concerned with running afoul of new laws delimiting teaching about race, gender, American history, and LGBTQ+ identities. This talk will summarize the current state of play concerning this rising menace, why it must be confronted, and how the higher education community has a unique role to play in communicating this anti-democratic threat to the public. It will offer a clarion call and suggestions for how to create campuses that serve academic freedom for all in the lead up to the 2024 election and beyond.