PERSPECTIVES: “The Great Event in the History of an Institution is Now Likely to Be a Big Gift” (John Dewey, 1902)

But recent actions by large donors demonstrate that they may not understand higher education’s mission or, at the very least, they seek to use their philanthropy to make a case for or achieve partisan ends. The implications are huge.  Nicholas Dirks, writes in TIME, about the relevance of The Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure (1915) to contemporary circumstances: ”The Declaration insisted on three conditions for the university to fulfill its function: first, that in all domains of knowledge (scientific, social scientific, and humanistic), there should be “complete and unlimited freedom to pursue inquiry and publish its results.” The second, that even in teaching the “freedom of utterance is as important… as it is to the investigator;” and third, that in the domain of developing expertise in technical domains, there should be no constraint from social or political pressure standing in the way of the scholar’s honest opinions.” Read his commentary here.

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