Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

FW: Ohio Senate Bill 24 Could Limit Open Debate at Colleges

Expand Messages
  • Popplestone, Ann
    From: Steven A. Edinger [mailto:Steven.Edinger.1@Ohio.edu] Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 1:19 PM To: Science Education Subject: Ohio Senate Bill 24 Could
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      From: Steven A. Edinger [mailto:Steven.Edinger.1@...]
      Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 1:19 PM
      To: Science Education
      Subject: Ohio Senate Bill 24 Could Limit Open Debate at Colleges

      ************************************************************************
      *******
      INSTRUCTIONS FOR SIGNING UP FOR AND USING THIS LIST SERVE ARE AT THE END
      OF THIS
      MESSAGE. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS TO ANY INTERESTED PARTIES.
      ************************************************************************
      *******

      Dear Colleagues,

      A copy of the bill follows the article. If you read it with
      care, you will
      not only find it would limit classroom discussion and debate, it would
      also
      take away all the universities' and faculty members' ability to
      determine their
      classroom content, determine which speaker they will and won't bring to
      campus,
      ability to decide if colleagues are doing valid work or not, etc. It
      could be
      the worst policy change ever thought of!

      Best wishes,

      Steve Edinger




      Bill could limit open debate at colleges
      Lawmaker says profs are pushing agendas
      Thursday, January 27, 2005
      Kathy Lynn Gray
      THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH



      Legislation that would restrict what university professors could say in
      their
      classrooms was introduced yesterday in Ohio.

      Judging from reactions in other states where similar bills have been
      considered, controversy won't be far behind.

      Marion Sen. Larry A. Mumper's "academic bill of rights for higher
      education"
      would prohibit instructors at public or private universities from
      "persistently" discussing controversial issues in class or from using
      their
      classes to push political, ideological, religious or anti-religious
      views.

      Senate Bill 24 also would prohibit professors from discriminating
      against
      students based on their beliefs and keep universities from hiring,
      firing,
      promoting or giving tenure to instructors based on their beliefs.

      Mumper, a Republican, said many professors undermine the values of
      their
      students because "80 percent or so of them (professors) are Democrats,
      liberals
      or socialists or card-carrying Communists" who attempt to indoctrinate
      students.

      "These are young minds that haven't had a chance to form their own
      opinions,"
      Mumper said. "Our colleges and universities are still filled with some
      of the
      '60s and '70s profs that were the anti-American group. They've gotten
      control
      of how to give people tenure and so the colleges continue to move in
      this
      direction."

      Joan McLean, a political-science professor at Ohio Wesleyan
      University, said
      Mumper's legislation is misguided and would have a chilling effect on
      the
      free-flowing debate that is a hallmark of democracy.

      "This is not the kind of democracy we think we're spreading when we
      hear
      President Bush's words. What we're celebrating is our ability to not
      control
      information."

      Besides, McLean said, who would define what issues could not be
      discussed?

      The language of Mumper's bill comes from a 2003 booklet by
      conservative
      commentator David Horowitz that lays out how students can persuade
      universities
      to adopt the "bill of rights." The booklet says it is "dedicated to
      restoring
      academic freedom and educational values to America's institutions of
      higher
      learning."

      The issue has gone national.

      Horowitz created Students for Academic Freedom, a group based in
      Washington
      that has chapters on 135 campuses, to promote his views.

      On the other side, the American Association of University Professors,
      which
      has thousands of members at hundreds of campuses, argues that
      eliminating
      controversial issues from courses waters down academic freedoms.

      Mumper said he's been investigating the issue for months and has heard
      of an
      Ohio student who said she was discriminated against because she
      supported Bush
      for president.

      "I think the bill asks that colleges and universities be fair in their
      approach to their education of students," Mumper said. "They need to
      have their
      rights defended and need to be respected by faculty and administrators."

      In a Kenyon College publication, President S. Georgia Nugent called
      Horowitz's thinking "a severe threat" to academic freedom.

      "I see this so-called bill of rights, the platform that he has
      constructed,
      as one that would explicitly introduce into college and university
      appointments
      a kind of political litmus test," she said.

      Mumper said he will "push this all the way" so that it's approved by
      either
      the legislature or by individual universities.

      When a similar proposal was considered in the Colorado legislature
      last year,
      it was withdrawn after state universities agreed to some of its
      principles. The
      issue also has been debated in Indiana and considered in Congress.

      kgray@...






      126th General Assembly
      Regular Session
      2005-2006
      S. B. No. 24


      Senators Mumper, Jordan, Cates, Wachtmann


      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      -----
      ---
      A BILL

      To enact sections 3345.80 and 3345.81 of the Revised Code to establish
      the
      academic bill of rights for higher education.



      BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:

      Section 1. That sections 3345.80 and 3345.81 of the Revised Code be
      enacted
      to read as follows:


      Sec. 3345.80. The board of trustees of each state institution of
      higher
      education, as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code, and the
      board
      of trustees or other governing authority of each private institution of
      higher
      education that holds a certificate of authorization issued under section
      1713.02 of the Revised Code shall adopt a policy recognizing that the
      students, faculty, and instructors of the institution have the following
      rights:


      (A) The institution shall provide its students with a learning
      environment
      in which the students have access to a broad range of serious scholarly
      opinion pertaining to the subjects they study. In the humanities, the
      social
      sciences, and the arts, the fostering of a plurality of serious
      scholarly
      methodologies and perspectives shall be a significant institutional
      purpose.
      In addition, curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social
      studies
      shall respect all human knowledge in these areas and provide students
      with
      dissenting sources and viewpoints.


      (B) Students shall be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned
      answers
      and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study and
      shall
      not be discriminated against on the basis of their political,
      ideological, or
      religious beliefs. Faculty and instructors shall not use their courses
      or
      their positions for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or
      antireligious indoctrination.


      (C) Faculty and instructors shall not infringe the academic freedom
      and
      quality of education of their students by persistently introducing
      controversial matter into the classroom or coursework that has no
      relation to
      their subject of study and that serves no legitimate pedagogical
      purpose.


      (D) University administrators, student government organizations, and
      institutional policies, rules, or procedures shall not infringe the
      freedom of
      speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and freedom of
      conscience
      of students and student organizations.


      (E) The institution shall distribute student fee funds on a
      viewpoint-neutral basis and shall maintain a posture of neutrality with
      respect to substantive political and religious disagreements,
      differences, and
      opinions. The selection of speakers, allocation of funds for speakers'
      programs, and other student activities shall observe the principles of
      academic freedom and promote the presentation of a diversity of opinions
      on
      intellectual matters. Except as provided by law, the institution shall
      not
      permit the obstruction of invited campus speakers, the destruction of
      campus
      literature, or other efforts to obstruct a civil exchange of ideas.


      (F) Faculty and instructors shall be free to pursue and discuss their
      own
      findings and perspectives in presenting their views, but they shall make
      their
      students aware of serious scholarly viewpoints other than their own
      through
      classroom discussion or dissemination of written materials, and they
      shall
      encourage intellectual honesty, civil debate, and the critical analysis
      of
      ideas in the pursuit of knowledge and truth.


      (G) Faculty and instructors shall be hired, fired, promoted, and
      granted
      tenure on the basis of their competence and appropriate knowledge in
      their
      field of expertise and shall not be hired, fired, promoted, granted
      tenure, or
      denied promotion or tenure on the basis of their political, ideological,
      or
      religious beliefs.


      (H) Faculty and instructors shall not be excluded from tenure, search,
      and
      hiring committees on the basis of their political, ideological, or
      religious
      beliefs.


      (I) The institution and its professional societies shall maintain a
      posture
      of organizational neutrality with respect to the substantive
      disagreements
      that divide researchers on questions within, or outside, their fields of
      inquiry recognizing that:


      (1) Knowledge advances when individual scholars are left free to reach
      their
      own conclusions about which methods, facts, and theories have been
      validated
      by research;


      (2) Academic institutions and professional societies formed to advance
      knowledge within an area of research, maintain the integrity of the
      research
      process, and organize the professional lives of related researchers
      serve as
      indispensable venues within which scholars circulate research findings
      and
      debate their interpretations.


      Sec. 3345.81. The board of trustees of each state institution of
      higher
      education, as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code, and the
      board
      of trustees or other governing authority of each private institution of
      higher
      education that holds a certificate of authorization issued under section
      1713.02 of the Revised Code, shall adopt a grievance procedure by which
      a
      student, faculty member, or instructor may seek redress for an alleged
      violation of any of the rights specified by the institution's policy
      adopted
      under section 3345.80 of the Revised Code. Each board of trustees or
      other
      governing authority shall provide students, faculty, and instructors
      with
      notice of the rights and grievance procedure by publication in the
      institution's course catalog, student handbook, and web site.





      Please see the Ohio Citizens for Science's web page at:


      http://OhioScience.org



      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---
      Steven A. Edinger, Physiology Lab Instructor

      064 Irvine Hall
      Department of Biological Sciences
      steven.edinger.1@...
      Ohio University Office: (740) 593-9484
      Athens, Ohio 45701-2979 Fax: (740) 593-0300
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---

      ******************************************************
      "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of
      evolution." Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973
      ******************************************************




      ************************************************************************
      *******
      INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE LISTSERVE SCIEDU-L
      ************************************************************************
      *******


      IF YOU WISH TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LISTSERVE, PLEASE SEND THE FOLLOWING
      MESSAGE.

      Address the message to: listserv@...

      The body of the message must only say: SUBSCRIBE sciedu-l

      Do not include a signature block, quotes or any other text in the
      "SUBSCRIBE"
      message when signing up for the listserve.



      Use the following address to send mail to the list.

      To: sciedu-l@...



      Further administrative requests regarding this list are listed below.
      Please
      send these request to:

      listserv@...



      LIST OF ADMINISTRATIVE REQUESTS

      SUBSCRIBE sciedu-l - to add your name to the list
      UNSUBSCRIBE sciedu-l - to remove yourself from the
      list
      SEND/LIST sciedu-l - to get a list of who is
      subscribed to the list
      DIRECTORY [sciedu-l] - to get a listing of all archives
      LIST - to get a list of mailing list
      on this server
      HELP - to receive a help file
      SEND [sciedu-l]file.txt - to send a requested file
      (file.txt=archive.txt, etc.)
      END - to terminate processing
      (skipping signature, etc.)

      ************************************************************************
      *******
      ************************************************************************
      *******



      ******************************************************
      "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of
      evolution." Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973
      ******************************************************
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.