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Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom Under Fire As Gaza Burns

Academic freedom and freedom of expression on university campuses across the Anglosphere have continued to come under attack in the past week with Israeli lobbyists conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. As Israel resumed its bombing campaign, now focusing on southern Gaza, the push to hold back the growing tide of disgust is intensifying, as the official Palestinian death toll in the strip nears 16,000. On Tuesday, the presidents of Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are being hauled before a U.S. congressional committee to face accusations that protests on their campuses were anti-Semitic in nature.

State Bills Would Eliminate Long-Term Job Security In Higher Education

Last Tuesday, Republican legislators in the North Carolina state house of representatives proposed H.B. 715, the so-called “Higher Ed Modernization and Affordability Act.” Its actual purpose is to destabilize academic jobs and exert political surveillance over North Carolina’s sixteen public universities and 58 public community colleges. Last Thursday, the Texas state senate passed a similar bill, S.B. 18. The North Carolina bill has several provisions, but the prospective elimination of tenure is getting the most attention. Under this provision, the tenure system would be eliminated for all new hires from July 2024 onward, and all future faculty would be employed at-will or on fixed-term contracts between one and four years long.

Chancellor Resigns Over Her Firing Of Prof Over Gaza

By Kevin Gosztola for Shadowproof Press - The chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), who was involved in firing Professor Steven Salaita over tweets he sent about Israel’s 2014 assault on Gaza, has announced her resignation yesterday. The announcement comes as a federal judge refused to dismiss Salaita’s lawsuit against the university for violating his free speech. An attorney representing Salaita, Anand Swaminathan of Loevy & Loevy, stated, “The university’s administration took a number of positions that showed contempt for its constitutional obligations, and raise serious doubts about the university’s commitment to academic freedom and its willingness to honor contractual commitments to its scholars. We are extremely pleased that the court has rejected the university’s dubious arguments.”

Bring Back Free College – & Cancel Debt For The “In-Betweeners”

Momentum is building for an exciting “new” idea, one which is in fact far older than many people realize: free higher education in the United States. The cost of educating oneself to participate fully in society is one which our revolutionary forebears understood should be borne by everyone. In John Adams’ day, that meant an elementary and high school education. Today, for many people, higher education is equally essential. The cost of that education is not an individual or charitable obligation. It is a social one. Since we first wrote about free higher education as a human right back more than a year ago, the idea has gained considerable momentum. President Obama has proposed a program of tuition-free junior college education. Other groups have begun advocating for free four-year public education.

Assassination Plot Records Won’t Be Released

Details of a plot to kill Occupy Houston leaders won't be released after a federal court upheld the FBI's claim that the documents are legally exempted from the Freedom of Information Act. The FBI argued information was withheld, including 12 of 17 relevant pages, to protect the identity of confidential sources who were "members of organized violent groups," according to Courthouse News Service. A heavily-redacted FBI document first revealed a Houston plot "to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles."

Time Running Out For PepsiCo And Snack Food 20

One thing is clear, time is running out for PepsiCo and the Snack Food 20 companies to cut Conflict Palm Oil from their products. It's time for companies to put new commitments into action. Deforestation rates in Indonesia, where a majority of palm oil is grown, are the highest ever and continue to rise. We simply can not allow palm oil companies to bulldoze the ecosystems that our societies survival depends upon. The Snack Food 20 companies must stop buying palm oil from the companies responsible for the carbon bombs released into the atmosphere when rainforests and peatlands are cleared to make way for new plantations.

Zionist Group Publishes List Of ‘Anti-Israel’ US Professors

The Amcha Initiative, the Zionist organization that has repeatedly intimidated, spied on and harassed students and faculty, appears to be escalating its campaign by publishing what amounts to a target list of “anti-Israel” professors. Amcha says that the list is made up of “218 professors identifying themselves as Middle East scholars, who recently called for the academic boycott of Israel in a petition.” It links to an item at Jadaliyya titled “Over 100 Middle East Studies Scholars and Librarians Call for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions.” “Students who wish to become better educated on the Middle East without subjecting themselves to anti-Israel bias, or possibly even antisemitic rhetoric, may want to check which faculty members from their university are signatories before registering,” Amcha says.
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