October 10, 2003
Academic Freedom at the University of Pittsburgh
I am deeply appreciative of the care with which my colleagues on the ad hoc Committee on Academic Freedom attended to the general issue of academic freedom and to its particular application to the University of Pittsburgh. The Committee's thorough reflection is well-evidenced in its Statement on Academic Freedom and its concomitant recommendations.
In April, before the Committee had had a chance to submit this Statement, I asked for its assistance in establishing a means by which we could address the problem posed by Pennsylvania's position on funding research grants through the tobacco settlement. A new committee was then formed in response to the ad hoc Committee's advice; it is reviewing the relationship between government grants from tobacco settlement funds and academic freedom.
After this "tobacco committee" submits its report, I will be better able to assess exactly how to structure an effective ongoing advisory group, which is one of the recommendations listed in the ad hoc Committee's Statement on Academic Freedom.
In the meantime, I am making available the Committee's Statement, and related documents, through this Web site.
James V. Maher
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor