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David Horowitz to Debate Ward Churchill at Academic Freedom Conference

On April 6-7, 2006, Students for Academic Freedom will host its First National Academic Freedom Conference featuring a debate between Students for Academic Freedom Chairman David Horowitz and University of Colorado-Boulder Professor Ward Churchill. The topic for debate will be: “Can Politics Be Taken Out Of The Classroom, and Should It Be?”

The debate will be held Thursday evening on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, DC. Young America’s Foundation and the Center for the Study of Popular Culture are the co-hosts of the debate.

The conference will also feature U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, House Leader Jack Kingston, and Colorado high school student Sean Allen whose recording of an anti-American rant by his geography teacher, Jay Bennish, created a national furor over classroom indoctrination. The conference (apart from the debate) will take place at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC.

Since its inception in the Summer of 2003, Students for Academic Freedom has led the way in promoting intellectual diversity and academic freedom in higher education. The April event will be the culmination of three years effort in which the organization has built student organizations on over 150 campuses, and moved legislation in 16 states and the U.S. Congress. The efforts of Students for Academic Freedom have brought the issues of intellectual diversity and academic freedom to the attention of a national public, generating more than two thousand press articles over the last year and stimulating debate on tens of thousands of sites across the World Wide Web.

The academic freedom campaign has shaken the complacency of the higher education community. In Colorado and Ohio, the higher education systems have formally adopted academic freedom rules based on the Academic Bill of Rights and are preparing to implement them. Principles of the Academic Bill of Rights have been incorporated into the authorization bill for the Higher Education Act at the federal level. The American Council on Education has issued a statement on Academic Freedom which incorporates key reforms proposed in the Academic Bill of Rights. In Pennsylvania, a special Committee on Academic Freedom was created by the Pennsylvania House to examine the state of academic freedom in public colleges and universities. Even though hearings before the committee are still in progress they have already stimulated proposals for reform. A final report by the committee on academic freedom is due in June.

In addition to its keynote speakers, the April conference will feature a series of panels discussing academic freedom issues and the responses to the academic freedom movement. The panels will include students involved in the academic freedom movement, professors, university trustees, representatives of educational associations and legislative sponsors of the Academic Bill of Rights.

“The purpose of this conference is to raise the awareness of this historic movement,” said SAF Chairman and Founder David Horowitz. “SAF has made great strides in ‘waking up’ the political and educational establishments and the general public to the seriousness of these problems. Now is the time to showcase our achievements, outline our goals to a national audience, and accelerate our efforts to institute these reforms.”

More information including a schedule and a list of confirmed speakers are available at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org. Registration for the conference is free for students, interns, non-profit and legislative staffers, educators, and the media, and only $75 for the general public. To register for the conference, please contact Elizabeth Ruiz at 800-752-6562, ext. 202 or at Elizabeth@cspc.org.

Students for Academic Freedom is a national movement to promote intellectual diversity and to restore educational values to America’s institutions of higher learning. The organization recommends that colleges and universities adopt an Academic Bill of Rights to ensure that these principles are respected. The Academic Bill of Rights is available on the organization’s website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.

Sara Dogan
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom
1413 K Street NW #1000
Washington, DC 20005