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UW Faculty Senate and New Speak

I freely admit that a reference to Orwell is overdone, BUT calling this legislation A Statement of Principle: Academic Freedom and Responsibility" is at best hyperbole.

I freely admit that a reference to Orwell is overdone, BUT calling this legislation A Statement of Principle: Academic Freedom and Responsibility” is at best hyperbole.

A central Issue in the discussion of the legislation called “” is the issue of Newspeak.  Words like A Statement of Principle: Academic Freedom and Responsibility,” are lal tooo much like the words used by Orwell.

I received an email Friday afternoon  (below at the Ψ) that illustrates the problem.  My response was this:

Again, for me this is too late. I voted no because this is MY contract.  and not one of the Senators or other faculty proponents of this legislation can tell me how it enhances our academic freedoms. 

My feeling is that a “NO vote at worst tells the Senate they have to learn how to function in a public mode. If you have not made up YOUR mind, I suggest reading this thoughtful post on THE Ave by our resident retired attorney.

Feedback from anyone who has read and understood the legislation would be every welcome. In the meantime, I note that the Chair of the Senate has not attached a copy of the legislation so here is my marked up version.

Ψ Dear voting faculty members,

Happy new year!  Before we all get too overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a new quarter, here’s a reminder to vote on the Class A legislation regarding academic freedom, if you haven’t already done so.  To vote, go to the website below and log in with your NetID:

 

https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/secfac/220648

 

The deadline is next Wednesday, January 8th, at 5 p.m.

 

This is a really important vote. The proposed legislation amends the part of the Faculty Code titled “A Statement of Principle: Academic Freedom and Responsibility,” by adding language about academic freedom where there was none before.  (There was a lot about responsibility!)  In order to become part of the code, it needs to be approved either by a majority of eligible voting faculty, or by 2/3 of those who actually cast votes. (In practice, it’s usually the latter.)

There will be a lot coming up in senate meetings this winter and spring.  You’ll be hearing more about the upcoming issues from me soon. Meanwhile, enjoy your weekend.

 

Jack Lee

_______________________________________________ John M Lee, Professor of Mathematics

UW Faculty Senate Chair

 

E-mail:  senate@uw.edu

Web:  http://www.washington.edu/faculty/facsen/

 


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