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USD faculty Senate vote on academic freedom

USD faculty Senate vote on academic freedom

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Published by joshua_mac8430
The full resolution of the University of San Diego University Senate regarding British theologian Tina Beattie's dis-invitation to speak at the university.
The full resolution of the University of San Diego University Senate regarding British theologian Tina Beattie's dis-invitation to speak at the university.

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Published by: joshua_mac8430 on Dec 07, 2012
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04/21/2014

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Page1of4
UniversitySenateResolutionDecember6,2012
Whereas
,TheUniversityofSanDiegoisan
independent 
RomanCatholicuniversitycommittedtoadvancingacademicexcellence,expandingliberalandprofessionalknowledge,creatingadiverseandinclusivecommunity,andpreparingleadersdedicatedtoethicalconductandcompassionateservice;
Whereas
,Beinga
Catholic
universitymustnotmakeUSDlessthana
university 
.TheUniversityofSanDiegodoes
not 
havetwomissions,oneCatholicandoneacademic,butrather
one
singlemission,asarticulatedinitsmissionstatement.TheprinciplesofacademicfreedomandsharedgovernancearethefoundationofanindependentCatholicuniversityand,assuch,areessentialtothemissionofUSDinallitsfacetsandtoitscorevalues;
Whereas
,TheUniversityofSanDiego’sPolicy4.1onAcademicFreedomstatesthat“theUniversityimposesnoreligiouslimitationonacademicfreedom.”Inaddition,“[b]ecausefullacademicfreedominteaching,learning,scholarlyactivity,andacademicdecision-makingisa
sinequanon
ofauniversity,thevalueofacademicfreedomisselfevident;hencetheburdenofprooflieswiththosewhowouldseektolimitit.”Specificallywithregardstoacademicdecision-making,“[t]heUniversityrecognizestheinextricablelinkbetweenacademicfreedomandsharedgovernance....Whenexercisingitsauthorityunderthosepolicies,theUniversityshouldgiveprimaryweighttothejudgmentofthefaculty”;
Whereas,
TheUniversityofSanDiegoendorsesthestatementofacademicfreedomsetforthinthe1940StatementofPrinciplesonAcademicFreedomandTenureco-authoredbytheAmericanAssociationofUniversityProfessorsandtheAssociationofAmericanColleges.Specifically,the1940Statementextendstheprotectionsofacademicfreedomonuniversityteachers’speechas“citizens”andstatesthat“[w]hentheyspeakorwriteascitizens,theyshouldbefreefrominstitutionalcensorshipordiscipline…”Thus,nomemberofthefaculty,orpersonstheuniversityinvitestojoinwiththefacultyinpursuingtheiracademicmission,canbesubjecttoinstitutionalcensorshipduetoher/hispublicstatementsandpoliticalbeliefs;
Whereas,
Theprincipleofacademicfreedomencompassesthefreedomofspeech—regardlessoftheforumormediuminwhichitispublished—ofthosewhojointheuniversityinacademicpursuitsaspublicintellectuals;
Whereas
,TherightofthestudentsandfacultyoftheUniversityofSanDiegotoheardiverseviewpointsisprotectedbytheuniversity’sAcademicFreedomandDiversityPolicies,andbyUSD’sinstitutionalcommitments.Theuniversityhasanobligationtoupholditscommitmenttoacademicfreedomespeciallyinsituationsinwhichpoliticalor
 
Page2of4ideologicalpressurefromoutsidetheuniversitycommunityattemptstopreventcertainviewsfrombeingexpressedoncampus;
Whereas
,Thewishesofdonorsorbenefactors—orthestatedinterpretationofsaidwishesbytheuniversityadministration—mustnotlimitorimpedeinanywaythefullexerciseofacademicfreedominteaching,learning,scholarlyactivity,oracademicdecision-makingintheuniversitycommunity;
Whereas
,Noacademicunitoftheuniversitycanbeexcludedorexemptfromtheprotectionsofacademicfreedom;
Whereas
,TheFrancesG.HarpstCenterforCatholicThoughtandCulture(CCTC)isanacademicunitofUSDthatreportstothechiefacademicofficeroftheuniversity,theExecutiveVicePresidentandProvost.Themission,rolesandactivitiesofthecenterandthecompositionofitsAdvisoryCouncilmakeevidenttheacademicnatureofCCTC’spursuits;
Whereas
,OnOctober27,2012,PresidentMaryLyonsrescindedaninvitationtoDr.TinaBeattie,professorofCatholicStudiesanddirectoroftheDigbyStuartResearchCenterforReligion,Society,andHumanFlourishingattheUniversityofRoehamptoninLondon.Dr.BeattiehadbeeninvitedtogivethesecondannualEmiliaSwitgalllectureandtobeavisitingfellowattheCCTC;
Whereas
,PresidentLyonsinitiallystatedherrationaleforrescindingtheinvitationtoDr.Beattieasfollows:“OnAugust13
th
,2012,Dr.Beattiebecamethesignatoryofawidelydistributed,publicletterurgingCatholicstodissentfromofficialChurchteaching....ItismyconsideredjudgmentthatDr.Beattie’sdecisiontoexerciseherofficeasaCatholictheologianandsignapublicdocumentdissentingfromtheChurch’sofficialteachingiswhatledmetorescindtheinvitation”(LettertotheChairofUniversitySenate,November2);
Whereas
,Thepresident’sdecisionreceivedtheattentionofthenationalandinternationalpresswhichgenerallycharacterizedthedecisionasanattackonacademicfreedom.TheUniversityofSanDiego’sinternationalandnationalreputationwasdamagedduetothePresident’sdecisionandherpublishedrationale;
Whereas
,ThePresident’sactionshaveledtothecriticismofUSDintheacademybothnationallyandinternationally.InherletterofNovember13,2012,totheChairoftheAcademicAssemblyoftheCollegeofArts&Sciences,PresidentLyonsacknowledgedthather“decisioncontinuestoleavemanyverythoughtfulandseriousacademics,studentsandothers—includingtheologians—bothonourcampusandbeyondquestioningouruniversity’scommitmenttoAcademicFreedom”;
 
Page3of4
Whereas
,TheAmericanAssociationofUniversityProfessors(AAUP)hasexpressedseriousconcernsaboutthepresident’sdecisioninaletteraddressedtoPresidentLyonsonNovember5,2012.PerceivingapatternofdecisionsbyPresidentLyonsthatunderminestheirconfidenceinUSD’scommitmenttoacademicfreedom,AAUPmayplaceUSDonitscensurelistofinstitutionsthat“arenotobservingthegenerallyrecognizedprinciplesofacademicfreedomandtenure”;
Whereas
,ThePresident’sdecisionresultedinaninquiryandletterofconcernbythenationalExecutiveCommitteeoftheAcademicHonorSocietyPhiBetaKappa.InalettertoPresidentLyons,SecretaryJohnChurchillremindedtheUniversityofSanDiegoofitsobligationtoupholditscommitmenttoacademicfreedomandstatedthat“[o]neofPhiBetaKappa’scentralvaluesisacademicfreedom.Ourconcernisnotonlyforfacultyinteractionswithstudentsintheclassroomsetting,butalsoforthemaintenanceofabroadcampusclimateopentoadiversityofperspectivesonimportantissues.”TheUniversityofSanDiegohadcommittedtoPhiBetaKappa’s“FreedomofExpressionGuidelines”whichprotects“[s]peechoncampusbynon-membersofthecollegeoruniversitycommunity”;
Whereas
,ProfessorMikeDavisoftheUniversityofCalifornia,Riverside,hasannouncedhisresignationfromhisappointmenttotheKnappChairofLiberalArtsatUSDinresponsetoPresidentLyons’decision;
Whereas
,ThePresident’sdecisionhasalreadyproducedandmaycontinuetoproduceanegativeimpactonrecruitmentandretentioneffortsofbothstudentsandfacultyatUSD;
Whereas
,OnNovember13,2012,theAcademicAssemblyoftheCollegeofArts&Sciencesapprovedaresolutionwithasubstantialmajority(99-16-19)thatdeclaresa“lossofconfidence”inthePresident’sleadership;
Whereas
,ThePresident’sdecisionandsubsequentactionshavedisruptedacademiclifeoncampusbygeneratingprotestsbystudentsandfaculty,andbyproducinganegativeimpactonteaching,learning,andscholarlyactivityatUSD;
Whereas
,ThePresident’sdecisionhascreatedaclimateofapprehensionanddistrustinwhichself-censorshiphasthepotentialtohinderindependentthinking,freeinquiry,andcriticaldialogueoncontroversialissues,especiallyinthecaseofstudentsanduntenuredfaculty;
Whereas
,PresidentLyons’publiccommunicationsregardingtherescissionoftheinvitationtoDr.Beattie—includinge-mails,letters,andcommentsattheSenatemeetingofNovember15,2012—haveprovidedneithersufficientclarificationoftheprocessleadingtotherescission,noranycompellingjustificationforherdecision,noranymeasurestoeffectivelyreversethedamagedonebyherdecision;

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Jack Dorso added this note
Sad to see anti-Catholic bigots drawing checks from a Roman Catholic university.
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