What does academic freedom mean to you?
Professor of Cell Biology and Biophysics
Robert Guadino (former political science professor at Williams College and expert on academic freedom) once said it’s the faculty’s job to ask uncomfortable questions. We ask them of our students to help them see new ideas and stretch their minds. We ask them of ourselves regarding our scholarship and teaching, and we ask uncomfortable questions of administrators: Is a proposed policy truly in the best interests of the students and the university? The ability and willingness of faculty to ask uncomfortable questions is at the core of any first-class university.
Associate dean for Teacher Education
It means I have the freedom as a faculty member to examine and discuss ideas that may be perceived as unpopular or controversial in the pursuit of inquiry.
Professor of Journalism
It’s the ability to tell the truth as I see it, no matter what that is. The fact that it might be objected to by students, faculty, administration, legislators, lobby groups, corporate sponsors, parents, presidents or kings, does not matter a whit.