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An awful policy


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Joshua M. Silverstein and Robert E. Steinbuch Special to the Democrat-Gazette

November 9, 2017


Tenure and academic freedom are designed to protect freedom of speech, thought, and expression on top of the limited remedies universally available in the law, so that learning and knowledge can flourish. This has been a bedrock principle in academia for a century and came in response to McCarthy-style red-baiting and loyalty oaths. These extra protections recognize the critical role of academics as truth-finders and truth-tellers.

But two weeks ago, we learned--for the first time--that University of Arkansas attorneys have been working behind the scenes for over a year to decimate the academic freedom and tenure rules that have been in place for decades across the UA system. It appears that their plan was to rewrite these rules systemwide to drastically diminish any real protections, and then hurriedly ask the Board of Trustees to approve the new policy before the proposal could be properly vetted.

That is not how any institution should operate, let alone one of higher learning.

The proposed changes are radical. For example, under the existing rules, faculty are explicitly free to provide "mere expressions of opinions," even "vehemently." Who could object to that? Answer: University counsel. Their proposal guts that protection--relegating that "right" to only limited and controlled circumstances. And lest there be any doubt that university attorneys were well aware of this, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request uncovered the following statement by those working behind the scenes to eviscerate these free-speech rights: "This is limiting and may be controversial." Quite an admission.

Why would they propose such a change? Consider the description a few years ago by UA-Fayetteville's treasurer of the "overwhelming amount of evidence" at their fundraising division "that point[ed] to [a] lack of management oversight, noncompliance with university policies and procedures and deliberate efforts to disguise poor financial management." Faculty who report to authorities this very type of wrongdoing are protected today under the tenure and academic-freedom rules dealing with faculty governance and public service. The proposal drafted by university attorneys would eliminate those protections and permit the firing of faculty who report this type of wrongdoing.



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  • 2 weeks later...

High-Level Democrat Organization Plots End to Freedom of Speech in U.S.

Written by Thomas Corriher

We got the heads-up for this from thegatewaypundit.com. We have an actual Democrat strategy document from the Media Matters organization that openly talks about their coordination with the media and "social media" to suppress free speech and defame Trump. The document is about how they dishonestly manipulate us, in other words, while plotting to subvert our basic rights. Watch out for the phrase "propaganda" in the document, for it is used in place of "free speech". It is important to remember that the abbreviation "NAZI" stood for National Socialist.

Here is the document (PDF): Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan for Action

Please notice how Orwellian and disarming the document's title is, despite perpetrating an attempt to end democracy.    :snip: 

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