For Immediate Release
Date: September 7, 2006
BLOOMSBURG— Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will become a hot seat for the debate on the Academic Bill of Rights on Tuesday, Sept 19, at 7 p.m.
David Horowitz, author and supporter of the Academic Bill of Rights, will debate BU philosophy professor Kurt Smith in Haas Center for the Arts, Mitrani Hall. The debate, “The Future of Academic Freedom,” will be moderated by BU President Jessica Kozloff and is open to the public free of charge.
Horowitz is a nationally known author and lifelong civil rights activist. In the 1990s, he created the Individual Rights Foundation which led to a battle about speech codes on college campuses. His book “The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America,” published this year, identifies individual professors whom Horowitz believes are responsible for indoctrination in institutes of higher learning.
He campaigns against “liberal bias” on college campuses though his organization, Students for Academic Freedom. According to the organization’s Web site, Students for Academic Freedom aims to make college campuses more conservative. Horowitz has appeared on “Nightline,” “Crossfire,” “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” as well as programs on C-Span and FoxNews Channel.
Smith, assistant professor of philosophy, appeared in front of the state committee on Academic Freedom to voice his opposition to Pennsylvania House Resolution 177, which he believes was derived from the Academic Bill of Rights promoted by Horowitz. Smith has also spoken at “Freedom Threatened?” a conference at Gettysburg College.
The debate is part of BU’s second annual Constitution Day which will begin at 9:45 a.m. on the patio adjacent to the Kehr Union. Members of the student organization Democracy Matters will make presentations on the importance of voting, the value of the Constitution and the United States’ two-party system, along with the political philosophy of the Republican, Democrat, Independent and Libertarian parties.
The day’s events will also feature an outdoor forum on academic freedom in the classroom from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The forum will feature Michael Hickey, history professor; Jonathan Lincoln, dean of undergraduate education; and others.
Free hotdogs and hamburgers will be available for those attending. Entertainment will be provided by the Jazz Ensemble.
Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.