The rise of the administrative university

By Glen Martin, for the RU AAUP, Oct. 2012

Books are beginning to appear about the nation-wide conversion of universities away from institutions dedicated to truth and knowledge and into a business model of education.  One such book is by Benjamin Ginsberg called The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why it Matters (2011). Ginsberg chronicles the demise of academic freedom, tenure, and the traditional faculty-driven conception of a quality curriculum and the independent pursuit of truth.

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what exactly is a “free speech zone”?

The basic definition of a free speech zone is said to be an area where “policital activists” have the right for free speech in the United States. The use of free speech zones came from U.S. court decisions allowing the government to regulate the “time, place, manner” of expression but no the content. The purpose of the zones are to protect the protesters themselves and the gathering. Universities started to create the zones between 1960-1970’s in order to not disrupt any classes. In 1968, the Supreme Court ruled that non-disruptive speech is allowed in school (Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District) but this does not apply to PRIVATE universities.

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Freedom of Association bills pass Virginia assembly

Both houses of the Virginia General Assembly have passed “Freedom of Association”  bills that allow religious and political groups at state colleges to restrict membership to individuals who are “committed” to the organization’s mission. Opponents of the legislation said the bills are thinly veiled attempts to let subsidized campus groups discriminate against gay students.

“It’s pretty simple: A Democratic club shouldn’t have to accept a Republican as a member and members of a religious group should be able to expect that their leadership will share the group’s core commitments,” Mark Obenshain, a state senator from Harrisonburg, told the Roanoke Times.

The idea of freedom of association was supported in a US Supreme Court case in 1995, Hurley v. Irish-American Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Group of Boston. But the case did not involve state funding of the groups in question, and the Supreme Court also said that Boston gays had a right to stage their own separate parade.