The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

South Dakota and "academic freedom"

South Dakota's House Bill 1222, recently defeated, was one of now 14 successful efforts by the "academic bill of rights" people to get legislation through state houses. To ensure intellectual freedom, the "bill of rights" folks have enlisted the government to keep tabs on things. Pithily and with a concision I'd reward in my writing classes, here it is:

"The Board of Regents shall require each institution under its control to annually report to the Legislature detailing the steps the institution is taking to ensure intellectual diversity and the free exchange of ideas. For purposes of this chapter, intellectual diversity is defined as the foundation of a learning environment that exposes students to a variety of political, ideological,
and other perspectives."

I thought these folks were OPPOSED to government interference...

The American Association of University Professors has been great in terms of getting profs out to testify before legislatures and, in PA, at these phony "hearings" that Gib Armstrong's "Select Committee on Academic Freedom" has been holding. They've also got a very useful resource page for combating these campaigns and educating people about what really motivates them.


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