The “New Civics” in Action

ACADEME BLOG

BY AARON BARLOW

In an opinion piece published by The New York Times, Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, writes:

American colleges and universities, public and private, are properly seen as nonpartisan elements in civil society, committed to research and teaching in a manner that transcends ordinary politics. But to succeed, these institutions must ensure that academic freedom and the highest standards of scholarship prevail. This means respect for the rules of evidence, rigorous skepticism and the honoring of the distinction between truth and falsehood.

This also means that all of us involved in higher education—and not just its leaders—must step up within and outside of our institutions, defending not only the colleges and universities themselves but the essential structures for learning and growth they are built upon. This is our civic duty, based upon the privileges we receive through institutions we should also be trying to improve—and not…

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