9.735 tenure: the Berkeley Resolution

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Wed, 17 Apr 1996 19:07:42 -0400 (EDT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 735.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Tzvee Zahavy <zahavy@andromeda.rutgers.edu> (84)
Subject: Berkeley Resolution

>Resent-Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 21:14:08 -0400
>Resent-From: ufa@mnhepo.hep.umn.edu
>Date: Tue, 16 Apr 1996 20:13:40 -0500
>From: Tom Walsh <ufa@mnhepo.hep.umn.edu>
>To: ufa@mnnt1.hep.umn.edu
>Subject: Berkeley Resolution
>Sender: ufa-request@mnnt1.hep.umn.edu
>Resent-Message-Id: <B0000000563@mnnt1.hep.umn.edu>
>Dear Colleague
> For your information, we are circulating a resolution recently
>passed by the Academic Senate at Berkeley.
>Paula Rabinowitz
>Thomas Walsh
>University Faculty Alliance
> -------------------------------
> (as unanimously passed by the Divisional Council on April 8, 1996)
>WHEREAS the Academic Senate of the University of California at
>Berkeley understands that the University of Minnesota is
>contemplating extensive reductions in the protections of tenure
>afforded to its faculty, it hereby adopts the following resolution and
>statement of principles:
>The free and open discourse guaranteed by academic freedom is
>essential for a central mission of research universities, which is to
>advance human knowledge.
>Academic freedom is only as secure as its legal protections,
>which are embodied in the institution of tenure. To authorize
>university administrators to use discretionary action to dismiss
>faculty members, or to force them to resign, may prove cost-
>efficient in the short run, but in the long run it will destroy
>academic freedom.
>The history of the University of Minnesota itself amply
>illustrates the necessity for the institution of tenure to protect
>academic freedom. In September 1917 Regents of the University of
>Minnesota interrogated political science professor William Schaper
>regarding his anti-war sentiments. The evening after the
>investigation, Schaper was summarily terminated on the grounds
>that "his attitude of mind, whether due to conscientious
>considerations or otherwise, and his expressed unwillingness to aid
>the United States in the present war, render him unfit... to discharge
>the duties of his position." Twenty years later, the University of
>Minnesota regretted and rescinded this action on the grounds that, as
>stated by the Governor of Minnesota, "We cannot suffer a precedent
>to stand under which...honorable teachers are humiliated, persecuted
>and dismissed in disgrace because their views happen not to
>coincide with the views of those in power. The integrity of the
>classroom and the integrity of the teaching profession must be
>preserved." The University thereupon committed itself to provide
>real procedural protection to safeguard the value of academic
>freedom. In the contemporaneous words of Charles Beard, the
>University of Minnesota gave "encouragement to all who labor for the
>maintenance of liberty in inquiry and teaching."
>Academic freedom is threatened today by powerful forces for
>ideological conformity, just as it was in 1917. The legal
>protections of tenure prevent such forces from eviscerating
>academic freedom and constricting the open and robust intellectual
>life necessary for a healthy university.
>THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Academic Senate of the
>University of California at Berkeley that the Regents of the
>University of Minnesota should cease all efforts to undermine the
>institution of tenure, whether by easing restrictions on the
>termination of tenured faculty or by forcing tenured faculty to leave
>by decoupling their compensation from tenure.
...____. ,___.
( / ) / /
/ / __. /_ __. _
/ o ./__,(_/|_/ /_(_/|_\/ \/
Dr. Tzvee Zahavy
Internet email: zahavy@andromeda.rutgers.edu