Magazine article Academe

Victory for Academic Freedom at University of Arizona

Magazine article Academe

Victory for Academic Freedom at University of Arizona

Article excerpt

A recent court decision from Arizona affirms the AAUP's continuing support for the academic freedom rights of faculty members engaged in research by contesting intrusive public records requests.

The case started with a public records request covering more than 1,700 e-mails exchanged by University of Arizona faculty members engaged in climate research. The requests were submitted by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, a free-market legal foundation seeking to "put false science on trial." The institute previously worked with the American Tradition Institute to prosecute similar public records requests of faculty members at the University of Virginia.

The AAUP supported faculty members at the University of Virginia and here again in Arizona, submitting amicus briefs opposing the release of the records. In this case, the AAUP brief, drafted by General Counsel Risa Lieberwitz, raised "the significant chilling effects that will result from forcing scholars and institutions to disclose collegial academic communications and internal deliberative materials. …

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