ON-Lion Letter
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) in Washington, D.C., recently released Free to Teach, Free to Learn:  Understanding and Maintaining Academic Freedom in Higher Education, a guide for trustees of higher-education institutions on the dangerous decline of academic freedom and intellectual diversity on college campuses.

The report, with a foreword by Benno Schmidt, chairman of the City University of New York board of trustees and former president of Yale University, comes at a time when campus speech codes threaten the free exchange of ideas and academic freedom controversies are emerging on a number of campuses.

Free to Teach, Free to Learn features key documents that shaped the modern concept of academic freedom, coupled with commentary from a wide and bipartisan roster of distinguished educators, attorneys, and policymakers. 

Contributors include former Harvard University president Lawrence Summers; Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) co-founders Alan Charles Kors, a Bradley Prize and Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award recipient, and Harvey Silverglate; University of Wisconsin professor and Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award recipient Donald Downs; University of St. Thomas professor Neil Hamilton; and U.S. Circuit Judge José Cabranes.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports ACTA, FIRE, and the Kirkpatrick Award.

"Academic freedom is a sacred right that must not be lost," Downs writes in the ACTA guide, but "it can prevail only if the denizens of higher education understand the important obligations that are part and parcel of its legitimacy.  If higher education loses control over its destiny to outsiders and politicians who are often obedient to their own questionable agendas, part of the fault will be their own because they did not live up to their side of the academic bargain."

Free to Teach, Free to Learn was sent to more than 14,000 trustees across the country, along with an action plan.
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