… in the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that the most charitable description of what’s been going on at the clubby University of Minnesota medical school would be “bizarre.”
Monday, April 25, 2011
at the University of Minnesota
From an email received this morning:
Faculty for the Renewal of Public Education
*3. Potential Threat to Academic Freedom.*
General Counsel Mark Rotenberg has asked the Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (AFTC) to consider whether "factually-incorrect attacks on particular University faculty research activities" are protected by academic freedom.
The administration raised the issue with reference to Carl Elliott's (Professor, Center for Bioethics) writing and public speaking about the death of Dan Markingson during a clinical trial conducted at the U.
In our view, defamatory speech does not pertain to academic freedom, so it's unclear why the administration has asked the committee to consider this issue.
Moreover, the administration has not presented any evidence to support its allegations regarding "factually-incorrect" statements by Professor Elliot.
We consider the administration's action to be an effort to intimidate faculty who publicly criticize university policy.
On Friday, the AFTC held its second discussion on the matter, and a number of concerned faculty attended, including the President of the local chapter of the AAUP, Naomi Scheman.
We are optimistic that this effort by the administration will be killed in committee, but we urge faculty to remain vigilant.
The minutes of the initial discussion of the AFTC are appended below.
The letter from Naomi Scheman to the AFTC, and AFTC co-chair Barbara Elliott's response, can be read here: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/
Carl Elliott's exchange with Barbara Elliott on this matter is available here: http://ptable.blogspot.com/
at 7:12 AM