Academic Freedom and the Scope of Protections for Extramural Speech
6 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018 Last revised: 6 Feb 2019
Date Written: November 2, 2018
Advocates for faculty have long argued that "extramural speech" - off-campus speech by professors about matters of general concern - should be immune from punishment by university officials as an aspect of academic freedom. Extramural speech seems to be becoming even more prominent and more controversial in the age of social media, and so faculty members have a growing stake in its protection. But extramural speech fits uneasily alongside the other traditional components of academic freedom - the freedom to teach and to engage in scholarly inquiry. I argue that extramural speech is best understood not as an aspect of academic freedom per se, but it should nonetheless be fully protected as an aspect of campus free speech. The best rationale for protecting extramural speech is that doing so in a necessary prophylactic rule for securing the core components of academic freedom that are essential to the core mission of a university.
Keywords: academic freedom, extramural speech, free speech, First Amendment, prophylatic rules
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