TAFRDPROMOTING HIGHEREDUCATION VALUESA Guide for Discussion
ACKNOWLEDGMENTSScholars at Risk gratefully acknowledges the members of higher educationcommunities worldwide who—through their courage and dedication—have inspired us.TWe thank the Office of the Provost and New York University for hosting Scholarsat Risk, the many member institutions, associations, partners, and individuals whocontribute to our work, including especially the Vivian G. Prins Foundation for coresupport for services for threatened and refugee scholars, the National Endowmentfor Democracy, the Open Society Foundations, New York University, the CarnegieCorporation, Charina Endowment Fund, Stichting Polar Lights, Fritt Ord, the MicrosoftCorporation, the AAUP Foundation, the Winston Foundation, our anonymous donors,the members of SAR’s Board and Ambassadors Council, and the many friends ofScholars at Risk who help us each day to protect more scholars.DDecember 2017RAFThis guide is the result of SAR’s working group on Promoting Values in InternationalPartnerships. SAR acknowledges the contributions of members of the workinggroup and participants in related workshops and discussions. Special thanks to IleneCohen for her assistance in preparing this publication. The content of this guide maynot reflect the views of individual network members, institutions, or participatingindividuals. Scholars at Risk invites comments on this guide or inquiries about our workat email@example.com.ISBN xxx-x-xxx-sxxxxxx-x Scholars at Risk, Inc., 2017. All rights reserved.For use or information, contact Scholars at Risk at firstname.lastname@example.org S CHOLARS AT R I SK NET WORK
PROMOTING HIGHEREDUCATION VALUESA Guide for DiscussionCONTENTSAbout This Guide.4TUnit 1: What Are “Core Higher Education Values”?.6Unit 2: Lines, Line-Drawing, and Consequences. 8AFUnit 3: Promoting Values. 13Unit 4: Defending Values. 20References.26DRSAR Publications & Materials.27protec onadvocacylearningG U I D E TO P RO M OTI N G H I G H E R E D U C ATI O N VALUE S 3
ABOUT THIS GUIDEcommodification of knowledge, so-calleddisruptive technologies, and more. Theserisk squeezing out core values, not becauseof hostility, but because of the complexityof implementing them in widely variedsettings. This is especially true in highereducation, as institutions embrace crossborder partnerships ranging from simpleresearch exchanges to branch campusesthat can not only offer many positiveopportunities but also pose challenges forinstitutions, scholars, and students workingin or with institutions and people fromplaces where higher education values arenot well understood or respected.1This guide aims to assist states, highereducation institutions, leaders, scholars,staff, and students as they wrestle withthese challenges, and in the process it hopesto help them avoid twin traps. The first isneglect, the tendency to avoid wrestlingwith complex and often competing valuesclaims among the range of higher educationstakeholders by limiting mention of values togeneral statements of support for academicfreedom and autonomy, without developingany practical procedures for implementation.When the inevitable values-related incidentsarise—and they do—stakeholders are leftseeking solutions after the fact, oftenunder time or other constraints, with littleconsensus or social or political capital to callupon. An example of neglect might be anoverseas teaching program involving facultyfrom both partner institutions that is silentDRAFTThis guide is intended to frame and facilitatediscussion about higher education valuesand their implementation in a wide rangeof settings. It starts from the view thathealthy higher education communitiesmatter enormously. They are enginesof knowledge production, discovery,innovation, skills development, culturalpreservation, and national progress.But to be healthy, higher educationcommunities must be grounded in corevalues—equitable access, accountability,academic freedom, institutional autonomy,and social responsibility. Where thesevalues are respected and flourish,higher education communities not onlycontribute necessary skills and servicesto society but also maximize the capacityof individuals to think for themselves andmake informed, creative contributions totheir own lives as well as to the lives ofothers. Without these values, the provisionof higher education and the perceivedsocial, political, and cultural functionsof higher education narrow. Attemptsto broaden these can be interpreted bysome as destabilizing—triggering violentattacks, coercion, politicization, and undueexternal interference with higher educationcommunities. Security suffers, and with it sodoes the quality of teaching and research.Moreover, quite apart from such violentor coercive pressures, higher educationcommunities today are under enormousstructural and competitive pressures arisingfrom globalization, commercialization,4 S CHOLARS AT R I SK NET WORK
“This guide urges proactiveexamination of valuesissues and the development of“ritualizing” practices that canbuild respect and understanding.”This guide does not offer specific answersto values questions or specific responses toany particular incident. Rather, it suggestsa framework for analyzing situations andfor constructive dialogue about valuesand values-related incidents. It also invitescooperation in developing a larger menu ofpossible actions aimed both at proactivelydeveloping values cultures and normsof practice and at fostering informedresponses to incidents when they arise.This guide draws on Scholars at Risk’sextensive casework and monitoringactivities, its network of partner institutionsand researchers worldwide, and invaluableinput from participants in an internationalconsultation group convened by SARwith representatives of higher educationinstitutions and associations in every regionof the globe, including many persons withdirect involvement in international highereducation programs. The informationpresented does not necessarily reflect theviews of any SAR members, partners, orconsultation group members. Scholars atRisk invites comments and in particularsuggestions for future revisions of thisguide, including, especially, additionalquestions for discussion, case examples,exercises, and model language or practices.AFNeglect often leads to the second trap, ofoversimplification, where actors confrontinga values-related issue privilege one valueover all others, eroding the legitimacy ofoutcomes. An example of oversimplificationmight be a student movement demandingmore equitable access to higher educationbut adopting tactics that undermine thephysical safety of campus communities,inviting security responses that erodeinstitutional autonomy.workshops, and other public andprivate settings.Tas to whether academic freedom principlesapply equally to faculty from the overseasand the local institutions.DRIn place of these, this guide urges proactiveexamination of values issues and thedevelopment of “ritualizing” practicesthat can build respect and understanding.It suggests frameworks for exploringmultilayered values issues and urges thedevelopment of a wider range of responsesto incidents. A companion publication,Promoting Higher Education Values:Workshop Supplement, includes sampleexercises and questions for discussion, foruse by individuals or in guided seminars,NEED PHOTOG U I D E TO P RO M OTI N G H I G H E R E D U C ATI O N VALUE S 5
UNIT 1:WHAT ARE “CORE HIGHER EDUCATION VALUES”?LEB SSDREQUAC ITACEThe “freedom of teaching and discussion,freedom in carrying out research anddisseminating and publishing the resultsthereof, freedom to express freelyopinions about the academic institutionor system in which one works, freedomfrom institutional censorship andfreedom to participate in professional orrepresentative academic bodies.”56 S CHOLARS AT R I SK NET WORKTAL LITYCI SIBINACADEMIC FREEDOMRES SOPOAFYACADEMICEDOMFRETIONALITU MYST ONOIN UTAACCOUNTABILITScholars at Risk’s understanding of higher education values is informed by internationalhuman rights law2, UNESCO instruments,3 and related civil society statements,4 whichcollectively identify five core values: equitable access, accountability, institutional autonomy,academic freedom, and social responsibility.INSTITUTIONAL AUTONOMY The degree of self-governance necessaryfor effective decision-making by highereducation institutions and leadersregarding their academic work, standards,management and related activitiesconsistent with principles of equitableaccess, academic freedom, publicaccountability, and social responsibility.
DON’T WE NEED MORE PRECISE DEFINITIONS?SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITYIn higher education, this is the duty touse the freedoms and opportunitiesafforded by state and publicrespect for academic freedom andinstitutional autonomy in a mannerconsistent with the obligation to seekand impart truth, according to ethicaland professional standards, and torespond to contemporary problemsand needs of all members of society.While consensus on a general meaning of each core value isimportant, a perfectly precise definition is neither possible norparticularly desirable, given the wide range of higher educationsystems, institutions, and local conditions. More important isan understanding of the interrelatedness of each value with theothers and a good faith application of the general meaning tothe conditions experienced in a given case. Rather than focuson binary questions (Is conduct X included in value Y?), whichrisk oversimplification, better understanding may result fromexploring interrelatedness of the various values (e.g., “What isthe impact of conduct X on respect for core values?”).EQUITABLE ACCESSWHAT ABOUT OTHER, RELATED VALUES?TThe five core values listed are not an exhaustive list but arerather a set of broad categories, each of which may implicateother values concerns. For example, integrity in research,governance, and management is essential to higher educationand should be understood as included within the meaning ofacademic freedom, institutional autonomy, and accountability,respectively. Similarly, general antidiscrimination principlesshould be understood as included within the meaning ofequitable access and social responsibility.DRAFEntry to and successful participationin higher education and the highereducation profession is based on meritand without discrimination on groundsof race, gender, language or religion,or economic, cultural or socialdistinctions or physical disabilities,and includes active facilitation ofaccess for members of traditionallyunderrepresented groups, includingindigenous peoples, cultural andlinguistic minorities, economicallyor otherwise disadvantaged groups,and those with disabilities, whoseparticipation may offer uniqueexperience and talent that can be ofgreat value to the higher educationsector and society generally.ACCOUNTABILITYThe institutionalization of clear andtransparent systems, structures ormechanisms by which the state,higher education professionals,staff, students and the wider societymay evaluate—with due respect foracademic freedom and institutionalautonomy—the quality andperformance of higher educationcommunities.ARE CORE HIGHER EDUCATION VALUESHUMAN RIGHTS?Much of the meaning of the core values listed would becovered by international human rights standards, while otherelements may depend more on generally accepted goodpractices. Claims of violations of equitable access or academicfreedom, for example, might be sustained under existing humanrights law protections for the right to freedom of opinion andexpression, the right to education, or the right to freedomfrom discrimination based on age, gender, religion, race, orother grounds. Claims of violations of institutional autonomyor accountability may more often depend on domestic legalor policy protections, buttressed by internationally recognizedgood practices. But even these may trigger human rightsprotections, given the interrelatedness of all five values, if theconduct in question also impinges on other values areas. Forexample, a decision by a state to close a university because ofbudget or management concerns may not trigger human rightsprotections that may be implicated if the closure were insteadintended to punish peaceful academic or student expression.G U I D E TO P RO M OTI N G H I G H E R E D U C ATI O N VALUE S 7
UNIT 2:LINES, LINE-DRAWING, AND CONSEQUENCESsuch efforts at line-drawing can beharmful if they lend legitimacy, howeverunintentionally, to antagonists of academicfreedom who seek to restrict inquiry andexpression. A focus on line-drawing can alsobe harmful because it obscures two moreimportant questions, namely, “Who decideswhere the line, if any, lies?” and “What arethe consequences for crossing the line?”“Whether something is“academic” or “notacademic” would turn instead onwhether the inquiry or expression isundertaken according to the ethicaland professional standards of thesubject discipline, as determined byhigher education professionals ofsimilar expertise.”DRAFTCore higher education values are protectedby higher education principles andinternational human rights standards. Whilethese principles and standards overlap,they are not the same. International humanrights standards apply to all persons butgenerally focus on restraining harmful stateaction (e.g., censorship or discrimination) orencouraging state action that is beneficialto the realization of human rights (e.g.,prosecuting violators or providing accessto quality higher education). Human rightsstandards alone may be insufficient toprotect against erosion of core highereducation values that result from private,nonstate action or from legislative oradministrative actions that fall short ofhuman rights violations (e.g., regardingstudent admissions or funding of highereducation). Higher education principles,by contrast, apply more narrowly, asthey are limited to those institutions andindividuals in the higher education sectorbut may provide guidance on a widerrange of operational issues (e.g., universitygovernance, tenure, faculty hiring, etc.).Defenders of core higher education valuestherefore need to consider both highereducation principles and human rightsstandards to determine whether either orboth offer protection in a given context.The overlap of these two areas sometimesleads to confusion about which formsof expression or conduct are protectedby which standards and, in particular,what expression or conduct should beconsidered “academic” for the purpose ofacademic freedom protection (in additionto general free expression protection).This leads to attempts to draw clear linesbetween expression or conduct considered“academic,” and therefore protected, andexpression or conduct considered “notacademic,” and therefore not protectedby academic freedom or other highereducation values. While understandable,8 S CHOLARS AT R I SK NET WORKSupporters of higher education valuessometimes seek to limit academic freedomprotection to a traditional understandingthat focuses on in-class or laboratoryteaching and learning, academicallyoriented research, and publication andexpression focused on exclusively academicaudiences. This view tends to treat otherforms of expression or conduct by membersof the higher education community as“not academic” and therefore outsideof the protection of higher educationvalues (although still protected by humanrights standards). Attempts to distinguish“academic” from “not academic” tend tofocus on the context of the expression(such as academic journal articles versuspublic blogs, opinion essays, or columnsin newspapers), the format (such asdata-heavy analysis versus narrativecommentary), or the target audience (withinthe higher education sector versus a widerpublic). According to this view, for example,a political scientist exercises academic
Finally, this traditional or limited view ofacademic freedom might also be seen asan abdication of the principle of socialresponsibility: the duty to use opportunitiesafforded by state and public respectfor academic freedom and institutionalautonomy to seek and impart truth andrespond to contemporary problems andthe needs of all members of society. (In theexamples above, involving complex issueslike weapons of mass destruction, climatechange, pandemics, ethnic and religiousconflict, authoritarianism, mass humanrights violations, and the like, academicshave a responsibility to do more thanmerely publish findings. Rather, they have aresponsibility to communicate and translateexpert findings in ways that inform publicunderstanding and debate.)DRAFThere are three problems with thistraditional or limited view. First, this viewrisks oversimplifying academic inquiry andexpression. In every discipline significantareas of academic expression haveimplications for matters of wide publicconcern. Clear examples include schoolsof law, journalism, business, public andinternational affairs, medicine and publichealth, social work, and the like. Effortsto parse out from less clear cases whichareas of work are or are not “academic”inevitably privilege perceptions of “safe”or “legitimate” areas or forms of inquiryover those that are “sensitive” or “troublemaking.” The former superficially may berepresented, for example, by inquiry intothe physical or biological sciences, thelatter, by inquiry into political science (e.g.,governance issues) or sociology (e.g., civilsociety, family, or religious issues). Ondeeper examination, however, the physicaland biological sciences may be just aslikely to raise sensitive or troublesomeissues (e.g., physics and weapons systems,environmental science and climate change,and biology and infectious diseases).the “academic” from the “not academic”) isthe suggestion that true scholarship is moreworthy of academic freedom protectionand therefore that including less traditionalforms of inquiry and expression under theumbrella of academic freedom might inviteattacks and dilute that protection overall.But there is little evidence that preemptivelylimiting the scope of academic inquiry orexpression to defined venues, subjects, oraudiences will enhance academic freedomprotection. Rather, history strongly suggeststhat accepting limits on academic inquiryor expression undermines both academicfreedom and security, especially whenlimits are imposed from outside the highereducation community.Tfreedom when publishing in an academicjournal but does not when publishing in anewspaper or general circulation magazine.Second, based in part on thisoversimplification, the traditional or limitedview suggests a false security bargain.Implicit in the attempt to distinguishtraditional scholarship from other forms ofinquiry or expression (that is, distinguishingQuestions to Ask When Expressionor Conduct is ChallengedGOODBETTERBESTIs it protectedacademic expressionor conduct?Who decides if theexpression or conductis protected?What are theconsequences if it isnot protected?(Where is the line, if any?)(Who decides where any line is?)(What happens ifyou cross the line?)G U I D E TO P RO M OTI N G H I G H E R E D U C ATI O N VALUE S 9
PROTECTED BY ACADEMIC FREEDOMPROTECTED BY(And Free Expression)‘SOCIALLYENGAGED’ VIEWCREATIVE, ARTISTICPERSONAL OR OTHER‘OPEN’ EXPRESSIONAn earth-science professorpublishes concerns aboutgovernment-fundedclimate research in anacademic journal.The professor publishes thesame concerns as an essayin a major newspaper.The professor postsnegative opinions aboutgovernment oﬃcialsdirecting climate policyon a personal socialmedia account.A sociology professordiscusses discriminationon campus during a classtitled “Personal andnational identity.”The professor discussesdiscrimination on campusin an interview on apopular TV program.The professor joins apublic march and protestagainst discrimination.A student submits apaper arguing in favorof constitutional reformin a class in legalstudies.The student shares thepaper with friends via socialmedia, and invites them tocomment publicly.The student participatesin a public rally in favorof constitutional reform.A member of the publicreads an academic articleobtained at a public library.The same person calls inwith questions to a localradio station interviewingthe author of the article.The same personparticipates in a publicperformance based inpart on the article.DRAFT‘LIMITED’VIEWA1 0 S CHOLARS AT R I S K NE T WORKBC
NOT PROTECTEDFREE EXPRESSIONPARTISAN, IDEOLOGICAL,DOGMATIC, OR OTHER‘CLOSED’ EXPRESSIONTDRThe professor joins areligious community thatsupports segregation ontheological grounds.The professor writes“planet-killer” on the side ofexpensive, energy-ineﬃcientcars in university parking lots.AFThe professor distributesliterature for a politicalcandidate opposed togovernment climate policy.VIOLENT ORCOERCIVE CONDUCTThe professor, in an anonymousphone call, makes a false bombthreat to disrupt a campus eventon opposition to theologicallybased segregation on campus.The student refusesdialogue withothers opposed toconstitutional reform.The student physically disruptsan on campus event that includesopponents of constitutionalreform, resulting in physical harmto persons and property.The same person writesa letter to public oﬃcialscondemning the articleon ideological groundsand demanding the ﬁringof the author.The same person organizes amob to attack the author outsidethe university gate.DEG U I D E TO P RO M OTI N G H I G H E R E D U C ATI O N VALUE S 1 1
A broader view of “socially engaged”academic freedom would embrace thisresponsibility and resist placing arbitrarylimits on areas of inquiry and expression.Whether something is “academic” or “notacademic” would turn instead on whetherthe inquiry or expression is undertakenaccording to the ethical and professionalstandards of the subject discipline,as determined by higher educationprofessionals of similar expertise.DRAFTTo be clear, encouraging a “socially engaged”understanding of academic freedom andobjecting to line-drawing between the“academic” and the “nonacademic” is notto claim that academic freedom protects allexpression or conduct. Violent or coerciveconduct beyond the expression of criticalor unpopular ideas (e.g., destruction orproperty, arson, or threats to harm or killothers) is not protected by higher educationor human rights principles (principles ofdue process and fair and humane treatmentnotwithstanding). Partisan, ideological,dogmatic, or similar “closed” forms ofexpression may not be protected by highereducation principles, to the extent thatthese suggest an inability or unwillingnessto examine new information and evidenceand to engage in discussion and debatethat entertains the possibility of persuasion;but they are still protected by human rightsprinciples. If lines must be drawn delimitingthe scope of academic freedom, they shouldbe drawn between such closed forms ofexpression and conduct and those whichare open to the possibility of persuasion andmodification of views that are a hallmark ofhigher education communities. (Under thisview, academic inquiry into politics or religionis protected by academic freedom, butpartisan campaigning or proselytizing is not.)according to professional standards andethics. This is especially important withregard to creative, artistic, and other formsof personal or public expression that maysatisfy the “openness” requirement butmay nevertheless fall inside or outside thescope of academic freedom protections,depending on whether they are undertakenaccording to professional standards.This determination must remain withinthe academic community. In exchangefor fidelity to the broad public good, asevidenced by adherence to the valuesof equitable access, accountability, andsocial responsibility, the state and societyrespect the autonomy and academicfreedom of higher education institutionsand professionals, respectively, to determinethe appropriateness of the conduct ofmembers of the sector and, in the eventof transgressions, the nature and severityof any sanctions. (For example, whetheran academic taking part in an off-campusdemonstration has violated any professionalstandards or ethics is a question bestresolved within the academic’s departmentor discipline.)More important than where the line, ifany, is drawn, however, is “Who decides?”and “What are the consequences forindividuals crossing the line?” Core highereducation values demand that the stateand society leave those questions tohigher education professionals to decide,1 2 S CHOLARS AT R I S K NE T WORKOf course, this is not always observed inpractice, as states, higher education leaders,and civil society actors frequently attemptto interfere with such determinations.(In the example above, institutionalleadership might act against the academicprecipitously and without reference todepartmental or disciplinary standards;donors or government officials mightthreaten to withhold financial supportpending action against the academicthey deem unsatisfactory.) And whensuch interference escalates to includepoliticization, unlawful coercion, and violentattacks, it violates both higher educationand human rights principles. (In the exampleabove, if the academic is not only criticizedbut is prosecuted, is imprisoned, or madeto suffer violence merely for symbolic,expressive acts.)
UNIT 3:PROMOTING VALUESDOES LOCATION MATTER?A proactive approach to promoting higher educationvalues offers many benefits, including avoiding thetwin traps of neglect and oversimplification. This unitencourages development of “ritualizing” practices for useat your home institution and in partnerships with otherinstitutions. These practices can help build respect andunderstanding that will support core higher educationvalues, help avoid some values-related incidents, and moreconstructively address such incidents when they arise.Values at HomeDoes the location of expressionor conduct matter for purposes ofprotection? All members of highereducation communities are protectedunder human rights principles,regardless of their location. Whetherexpression or conduct is also protectedby higher education principles dependsmore on the content of the action andwhether it is undertaken accordingto the ethical and professionalstandards of the subject disciplinerather than on the location of theaction. A presumption in favor ofprotection might be claimed, however,for expression or conduct takingplace within the higher educationspace—including not only classroomsand laboratories but also offices,corridors, and courtyards of campusfacilities and in textbooks, teachingmaterials, journals and publications,websites, and university emails—while expression or conduct takingplace outside the higher educationspace may still be protected by highereducation principles, depending onthe context.AFTMany higher education institutions have statementsrecognizing some of the core values. Where theseare missing or lacking, the first step is to work withstakeholders and decision-makers to establish them.Many may also have staff and student dispute mechanisms,disciplinary procedures, and codes of conduct that mayaddress one or more of the core values in the context ofresponding to an incident. But these are not enough.On-campus vs. off-campus expressionor conductDRFewer institutions have procedures or mechanisms in placefor implementing their values commitments proactively.This is important if institutions are to enjoy the full benefitsof core higher education values—including higher qualityinquiry, teaching, and discourse within a more inclusivecommunity and with meaningful engagement with thebroader public. Equitable access, for example, servesquality both by encouraging the widest range of intellectualtalent to enter higher education and by providing asafeguard against the corrupting effects of bias and limitedperspectives. Autonomy not only gives institutional leadersand faculty space to prioritize promising areas of researchand teaching, as determined by experts, but it can also be ashield against corruption, such as attempts from outside todivert higher education resources. Accountability similarlycan guard against improper diversions of resources initiatedfrom within the sector. Academic freedom, for its part,not only encourages researchers to take intellectual andcreative risks. It can also increase quality by encouragingfree and open debate about new ideas, and by decreasingany risks of negative repercussions for sharing even criticalinformation, it can help to accelerate the distribution ofnew knowledge and fuel innovation. Social responsibilityencourages institutions and researchers to consider andprioritize both short- and long-term benefits to societywhen determining their research and teaching agendas.G U I D E TO P RO M OTI N G H I G H E R E D U C ATI O N VALUE S 1 3
The University values “academicfreedom, by upholding the spirit offree and critical thought and enquiry,through the tolerance of a diversityof beliefs and understanding, as wellas the open exchange of ideas andknowledge.”—University of Botswana“In this case, ‘ritualizing’ values meanscreating and repeating regular, visible, andmeaningful opportunities for all stakeholders todiscuss values questions and their meaning inpractice in the community.”values disputes that inevitably arise, often without warning;these can be triggered by students, administrators, faculty,trustees, or even persons or events off campus. They canconsume valuable tim
discussion about higher education values and their implementation in a wide range of settings. It starts from the view that healthy higher education communities matter enormously. They are engines of knowledge production, discovery, innovation, skills development, cultural preservation, and national progress. But to be healthy, higher education
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4 21st Century Scholars: Past, Present and Future 12 Scholar Alumni Profiles 24 Scholar Partner Profiles 31 Scholar Scorecard 32 Scholar Support Initiatives 34 Get Involved with the Scholars Program "The 21st Century Scholars program opened the door to a college degree for me so that I can keep the same door open for my daughter."
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