California Institute of Integral Studies: Assault on Professor’s Academic Freedom

Category: Free Speech
Schools: California Institute of Integral Studies

Academic freedom is under assault at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), where a professor is being investigated for assigning an article that some students thought represented “institutional racism.” Shortly after assigning a peer-reviewed article that he wrote in 1970, psychology professor Leland van den Daele became the subject of institution-wide controversy. In response, CIIS administrators decided to put him and his course through an official “investigation” and announced a review of the entire psychology doctoral program. FIRE is asking CIIS to immediately end its investigation and ensure that Professor van den Daele will not be punished for this legitimate assignment.

There is currently no media coverage for this case.
  • FIRE Continues to Protest Injustice at CIIS

    July 21, 2006

    Last month FIRE reported that Professor Leland van den Daele was under investigation at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) for assigning an article he wrote in 1970 to his doctoral psychology students, some of whom found the article to exhibit signs of institutional racism. As I previously explained, the article contained language that was en vogue in 1970, and part of the lesson, as van den Daele himself explained, was to examine “historical change since the publication of the document.” This justification was lost on CIIS, which reacted by placing the Developmental Psychology doctoral program, van den Daele’s […]

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  • Professor Under ‘Investigation’ at California Institute of Integral Studies

    June 1, 2006

    The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) has a specific persona—founded in 1968, it is a private, accredited institution advocating an “integral approach to education.” Its mission is to “embody spirit, intellect, and wisdom in service to individuals, communities and the Earth.” These ideals draw students and faculty to CIIS, but faculty members also likely find assurance in CIIS’ broad commitments to academic freedom, which guarantee them “freedom in the classroom in presenting their subject,” and “freedom in the selection of textbooks … and other teaching materials.” But as today’s press release shows, those commitments to academic freedom have recently […]

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  • Academic Freedom Under Attack at California Institute of Integral Studies

    June 1, 2006

    SAN FRANCISCO, June 1, 2006—In a direct attack on academic freedom, the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is “investigating” a professor for assigning a peer-reviewed journal article that some students felt was “racist.” Psychology professor Leland van den Daele contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help soon after hearing that he was facing investigation and possible punishment. “CIIS’ actions show a disturbing disregard for academic freedom,” commented FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “If academic freedom is to have any meaning, professors must have the ability to present relevant, provocative material in their classrooms without fear of […]

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