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Explore ‘Academic Freedom in the Digital Age’ at free UW-Stevens Point event

April 5, 2022
Three speakers for the Academic Freedom in the Digital Age event
Three speakers for the Academic Freedom in the Digital Age event

International scholars will share their firsthand experiences of hope, resilience, global interconnectedness and desire for a more open and equitable future at “Academic Freedom in the Digital Age,” a free, public presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point next week.

It will be held Thursday, April 14, at 5-7 p.m. in the Dreyfus University Center Theater, 1015 Reserve St., Stevens Point. The presentation is hosted by the UW-Steven Point School of Education and funded by the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership.

The erosion of academic freedom poses a major threat to democracy around the world. Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) is the only global program that arranges and funds fellowships for threatened and displaced scholars at partnering higher education institutions worldwide.

Fahmidul Haq, visiting professor of experimental humanities at Bard College, and Amna Afreen, former fellow at Harvard and Georgetown, are two Institute of International Education-SRF scholars who have directly experienced the effects of academic freedom violations from different countries. They will share what they have experienced and struggles they have been going through, and will be joined by James King, director of the SRF, who has impacted academic freedom all over the world.

“Academic freedom is the freedom of teachers, students and academic institutions to pursue knowledge wherever it may lead, without undue or unreasonable interference,” said Professor Lynda Fernholz, assistant dean of the School of Education.

Fernholz will serve as a faculty moderator at the event, along with assistant professors Uzeyir Ogurlu and Erin Redman from the School of Education.

“At the minimum, academic freedom involves the freedom to engage in the entire range of activities involved in the production of knowledge, including choosing a research focus, determining what to teach in the classroom, presenting research findings to colleagues, and publishing research findings,” said Fernholz. “Still, academic freedom has limits. Integrity, thoughtfulness toward diversity, equity and inclusion must remain front and center.”

To attend in person, pre-register at In-person attendees are eligible to win UWSP swag door prizes.

A virtual option is available for students, faculty and staff with a email address. Users will need to register for the virtual option via Zoom webinar and authenticate with a UWSP Zoom account to join.

In its effort to embody the Wisconsin Idea, the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership funds speaker events that will advance public leadership and help leaders to address pressing policy challenges in venues on UW campuses and in communities outside UW-Madison.