Higher Education Laws & Regulations

Question Description

Address the issues of faculty speech as a component of Academic Freedom, as defined by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and faculty speech under the First Amendment.

Scenario: Dr. Knightly is a highly accomplished, long time tenured professor of business administration at Palmetto State University. In addition to earning the respect of his peers for his scholarly work, he is a favorite among his students!

Dr. Knightly has become disillusioned with the new administration. He has publicly denounced the president in faculty meetings. Students have begun to complain that he spends an inordinate amount of time talking about university problems caused by administration instead of teaching. The university community is divided on Dr. Knightly’s actions.

As a newer faculty member, you are developing your positions on faculty free speech and academic freedom. The situation with Dr. Knightly has made you consider:

  • What other issues do I need to know or clarify to determine whether certain types of protections apply in this case?
  • Would the situation differ between public and private institutions?
  • What type of speech is protected and why?
  • What are the types of speech that are present in the scenario and what effect could they have on Dr. Knightly?
  • What effect could Dr. Knightly’s tenure status have on the institution’s decisions?

Considering these questions, what is your personal view on the situation? Support your response with references and other pertinent resources.

Final Answer


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UT Austin

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