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Palgrave Macmillan

Establishing Academic Freedom

Politics, Principles, and the Development of Core Values

ISBN 9781137009555
Publication Date September 2012
Formats Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Higher Education and Society

Today, academic freedom is a core value in American higher education, and tenure is its primary protection. Yet modern understandings of faculty rights and responsibilities did not arise without difficulties; they were debated and defined by American academics in the decades leading up to World War II. Conditional agreements during this period set the stage for modern conditions of faculty work and fundamental elements of American higher education. Through its examination of the development and experiences of academic freedom and tenure—and, especially, the activities of the professional, voluntary, and labor organizations that battled over their establishment—this book provides the historical context necessary for understanding modern debates over academic freedom, tenure, and the widespread casualization of academic labor.

Timothy Reese Cain is an assistant professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His historical research examining academic freedom, faculty unionization and related issues has recently appeared in the AAUP Journal of Academic FreedomHistory of EducationHistory of Education QuarterlyLabor HistoryPerspectives on the History of Higher Education, and Teachers College Record.

Academic Freedom in Development
Associating and Academic Freedom
Treason and the 'Farce' of Academic Freedom
Competition and Collaboration
Freedom of Teaching in Science
Social Relations and a Blacklist
Disparate Voices
Academic Freedom on Trial


"Timothy Cain provides a compelling account of how the academic profession haltingly organized itself to protect academic freedom, explaining the AAUP's role and clarifying it by comparing its activities to those of the American Association of Colleges (AAC), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Progressive Education Association (PEA). While the time frame for Cain's account is 1915-1940, the issues raised and discussed are relevant to much that is currently experienced on college and university campuses across the nation." - Wayne J. Urban,Paul W. Bryant Professor, College of Education, The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
"This important book offers the first comprehensive look at how academic freedom, and the tenure system that supports it, developed in the United States. Whereas previous volumes have focused on particular organizations, specific topics, or individual cases, Cain blends all three to show what academic freedom came to mean to the profession, and how it has been defined and defended over time." - Linda Eisenmann, professor of education, professor of history, Wheaton College
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