The constitutional status of academic freedom in the United States

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Minerva, ISSN: 0026-4695, Vol: 19, Issue: 4, Page: 519-568

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Howard O. Hunter
Springer Nature; Springer Verlag
Social Sciences; Academic freedom; Freedom of speech; Universities; First Amendment; College students; Government regulation; Political speeches; Teachers; Statutory law; Government; Basic or Discovery Scholarship; Higher Education; Law, Society and Governance
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The history of universities has been one of intermittent struggle them or their constituent members and external groups seeking exercise control over the activities of teachers and students. Many European and American universities first developed in close co-ordination with churches. The ecclesiastical authorities long exercised, and some- times still do exercise, great control over curriculum, pedagogy extracurricular activities.1 Orthodoxy, not free inquiry, has more often not been the demand of the church. The secularisation of universities has freed them from much of the imposed religious orthodoxy, but has brought new agents of control into the picture, the most notable of which are private benefactors and the state. Private beneficence has been marked by the fewest intrusions, but except in the United States, Canada and Japan, private wealth has been an insignificant source of support in comparison to governmental largesse. Even so, the great donors of privately accumulated wealth have not always been willing to yield all control over the ways in which their gifts have been used by universities.