Culture Wars on Campus: Academic Freedom, the First Amendment and Partisan Outrage in Polarized Times

72 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2018  

Jason M. Shepard

California State University, Fullerton

Kathleen Bartzen Culver

University of Wisconsin-Madison; Center for Journalism Ethics; University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

After a California community college professor called the election of President Donald Trump an “act of terrorism” in her classroom the week after the vote, a student-recorded viral video sparked a national conservative media firestorm. Critics said the professor should be fired for outrageous liberal bias, while supporters defended her comments as being protected by academic freedom and the First Amendment. The student, meanwhile, was suspended for his unauthorized recording while defenders decried his punishment as evidence of anti-conservative discrimination and harassment. By examining tensions between faculty and student speech rights, the use of technologies to take ideological disagreements “viral” through partisan media, and the role of colleges and universities in culture wars, this paper finds deep divisions in views of rights and responsibilities of faculty, students, and institutions in campus free-expression controversies.

Keywords: Academic freedom, First Amendment, colleges and universities, campus free expression, campus culture wars, classroom recording, viral videos, partisan media, "outrage machine," faculty rights, student rights

Suggested Citation

Shepard, Jason M. and Culver, Kathleen Bartzen, Culture Wars on Campus: Academic Freedom, the First Amendment and Partisan Outrage in Polarized Times (2018). San Diego Law Review, Vol. 55: 87-158 (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3225270

Jason M. Shepard (Contact Author)

California State University, Fullerton ( email )

PO Box 6846
Fullerton, CA 92831
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jasonmshepard.com

Kathleen Culver

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

5115 Vilas Hall
821 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53706
United States
6085754082 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://kathleenculver.com

Center for Journalism Ethics ( email )

Madison, WI
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu

University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Journalism & Mass Communication ( email )

Madison, WI
United States

HOME PAGE: http://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu

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