Academic freedom is a cornerstone principle to the U. S. system of higher education and is intended to exist for all faculty. Thus, the dominant discourse is that academic freedom is neutral. Utilizing the framework of critical race theory, this research demonstrates that faculty of color can differentially experience and perceive their academic freedom in ways that are influenced by their social identities. Thirteen faculty of color from three Research 1 institutions in geographically distinct states were interviewed for this study. Their CVs and publications were also analyzed. Results highlight several findings: academic freedom played an important role in participants' teaching, service, and research; participants' social identities could influence the extent to which they felt they could enact their academic freedom; some participants did not feel fully protected by academic freedom; and discrimination/oppression could fatigue participants to the point where they no longer had the willpower and/or the energy to enact their academic freedom. Nonetheless, all but one participant in this study enacted their academic freedom as a form of agency on behalf of diversity and social justice.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. March 2013. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Rebecca Ropers-Huilman. 1 computer file (PDF); iii, 239 pages, appendices A-C.
Locher, Holley M..
Academic freedom for whom? experiences and perceptions of faculty of color.
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