Professors, Administrators and Counsel Applaud Proposed ABA Standard on Academic Freedom
Education Team Co-Chair Paul Lannon was quoted in an ABA Journal article about a new proposed accreditation standard from the American Bar Association's (ABA) Section of Legal Education and Admissions focused on guidance for academic freedom policies. The memo outlining the proposal, released Aug. 2, 2023, suggests creating a new standard that affords due process to those who claim their academic freedom has been violated as well as criticizes disruptive behavior that hinders free expression or interferes with school functions and activities, such as disrupting a speaker. Currently, many universities base their academic freedom policies on the American Association of University Professors' 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. Mr. Lannon commented that a new standard is welcome, saying the statements' authors likely did not envision some of the issues facing schools today.
"This kind of guidance from the ABA is long overdue. The current standard doesn’t provide any substance," he explained.