Thursday, October 15, 2009

Academic Freedom & the Courts

Professor Amy Gajda (University of Illinois law & journalism) has published a new book "The Trials of Academe," about the erosion of so-called "academic abstention," the unformalized doctrine under which courts hesitated to second-guess academic institutions' policy decisions (such as tenure and promotions, admissions, grading policies, etc.) and tended to summarily dismiss suits challenging academic policy decisions.  Professor Gajda's book chronicles the increase in litigation regarding campus disputes and the increasing willingness of courts to entertain such cases, and discusses the negative impact the increase in such suits has had on the academic freedom of universities and their faculties.

Also, check out Professor Stanley Fish's (Florida International University School of Law) review of Professor Gajda's book in a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Rise and Fall of Academic Abstention."


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