PORTLAND, OR, September 6, 2018—In an effort to expand freedoms and intellectual diversity at Oregon college campuses, the Oregon Association of Scholars (OAS) today announced the creation of the Oregon Campus Freedom Awards. The awards, which will be given on an annual basis to students enrolled in Oregon colleges and universities, are the first of their kind in the United States.
“Students who expand freedoms and intellectual diversity on campus are providing an invaluable public service to higher education in Oregon and should be recognized,” said Dr. Bruce Gilley, a Professor of Political Science at Portland State University and chapter president of the OAS. “They help to ensure the conditions for research and teaching excellence and to equip our students to operate successfully in a pluralistic American society.”
The awards will be chosen by OAS members. Students may be nominated, or may nominate themselves, for achievements that may include activities that promote viewpoint diversity; promote the free exchange of controversial ideas; promote unbiased teaching and administration; uphold equal opportunity and due process rights; uphold student rights to dissent from orthodoxies; and encourage students to think as individuals.
“At a time in American higher education when students are often silenced and made to conform to campus orthodoxies, the Oregon Campus Freedom Awards will recognize fearless student leaders who are willing to take unpopular stands in the pursuit of truth and excellence,” Dr. Gilley said.
Nominations for the awards, which will recognize student achievements during the upcoming 2018-19 academic year, will remain open through May 2019. Each recipient will receive a $100 award and recognition at an awards ceremony in Portland in June 2019.
“Every day, at community colleges in the farthest reaches of our state as well as major research universities, students protect freedoms to pursue truth in a way that faculty and administrators often do not,” said Dr. Gilley. “These awards will show Oregonians that there is a hopeful and engaged generation of student leaders ready to pursue the greater good by protecting core American values of freedom and pluralism.”
The Oregon Association of Scholars is the Oregon affiliate of the National Association of Scholars, a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at www.nas.org, and OAS at www.oregonscholars.org.