Academic Freedom at Risk After Decades of Attacks and Underfunding

As higher education faces an increasingly dire crisis of underfunding, we look at one of the consequences of this crisis: the growing threat to academic freedom. Academic and author Henry Reichman takes on this threat in a new book, out this week, titled The Future of Academic Freedom. In it, he writes, “Academic capitalism — or, as many term it, ‘corporatization’ — has greatly impacted academic work and the ability of the faculty to unite in defense of professional norms, including academic freedom.” Academic capitalism is just one of a number of topics Reichman tackles in the book, which starts by asking what academic freedom is, and expands to look at the loss of public funding for institutions of higher education and the harassment of faculty members for political speech.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Federal prosecutors brought new money laundering charges Tuesday against 16 parents who paid bribes to get their children into top schools as part of the college admissions scandal known as Operation Varsity Blues. Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are among the parents facing the additional charges, along with previously announced fraud charges, after allegedly paying $500,000 to get their daughters into the University of Southern California. They were recruited by the crew team, even though they did not practice the sport. Fourteen defendants pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraud charges in the case, including the actress Felicity Huffman, who said in a statement, quote, “I want to apologize to the students who work hard every day to get into college, and to their parents who make tremendous sacrifices to support their children and do so honestly.”

AMY GOODMAN: Since breaking, the college admissions scandal has laid bare the many ways higher education is rigged for the wealthy, from the ability to pay for tutors and test prep, to the staggering number of legacy…

Read more