The Collision Between Academic Freedom and Freedom of Contract: the Salaita Case

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, I give me views on the contretemps involving the University of Illinois and its non-hiring or unhiring of Professor Steven Salaita due to his intemperate rants about Israel.

Years ago, Professor William Van Alstyne (from whom I learned Constitutional Law at Duke) wrote that "the core value of academic freedom as a vital safeguard for controversial research and teaching risks dilution by being overextended to situations where it does not really belong." I think that is the case here. Educational institutions can and should distinguish between scholarship and off-topic tirades. The latter ought to be valid grounds for declining to hire a candidate or sanctions against someone already hired. The key, I submit, is intelligent contracting.


Image: Screenshot from Youtube

  • Share

Most Commented

September 5, 2014

1.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

"[PTSS] provides an evidence-proof explanation that lifts away moral responsibility from those engaged in self-destructive, anti-social, and criminal behavior."...

September 21, 2010

2.

Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....

April 9, 2018

3.

How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

Download an updated PDF that lists all of the Confucius Institutes in the United States, along with information on who to contact if you have concerns....

Most Read

October 12, 2010

1.

Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...