The Winds of Freedom

As Vietnam-era protests simmer down, the faculty comes to consensus.

September 2023

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The Winds of Freedom

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Faculty and students protest the Franklin hearings. Photo: Jose Mercado/Stanford News Service

Stanford’s current Statement on Academic Freedom was adopted by the Faculty Senate in April 1974 with little fanfare. The “unusual and possibly unique” statement, as the faculty/staff newspaper characterized it, passed on a voice vote without dissent.

Which is not to suggest that its prologue had been pro forma. Only 18 months earlier, a companion policy, the Statement on Faculty Discipline, had inspired fierce debate about how to safeguard against administrative overreach. Mail-in ballots were sent to the entire professoriate and the measure passed on a divided vote, 442 to 349. Heightening some professors’ unease was the recent—and to this day, only—dismissal of a tenured faculty member, H. Bruce Franklin, PhD ’61, an associate professor of English who was accused of making antiwar speeches that incited lawbreaking and violence.

The faculty disciplinary statement has long since been overhauled. But the 1974 Statement on Academic Freedom endures. “Stanford University’s central functions of teaching, learning, research, and scholarship depend upon an atmosphere in which freedom of inquiry, thought, expression, publication, and peaceable assembly are given the fullest protection,” it begins. “Expression of the widest range of viewpoints should be encouraged, free from institutional orthodoxy and from internal or external coercion.”

Kathy Zonana, ’93, JD ’96, is the editor of Stanford. Email her at kathyz@stanford.edu.

Vintage 1973 Collection

Stanford is 50! It turns out we’re not the only one. Walk with us down memory lane as we sample some of the wonders and horrors of the 1973–74 academic year on the Farm, and in the world around.

Start the Presses

Were Golden

89 Rodins Find a New Home

A Godfather Delivers a Ransom Payment

A Splashy Debut

The Winds of Freedom

SLE Club

‘Until the Birds Took Over the Singing’

The Poet and the Coup

Steps Toward Saving Salamanders Are Set in Motion

A Sequel for Supersonic Flight?

The First Stanford Astronaut Returns from Space

The End of the Nursing Education Era

Keepers of the Flame

50 Years After the Stanford Murders, Three of Four Families Have Answers

A Classic Is Released

A Young Lawyer Wins an Educational Equity Case

Joining the Force


The Axe Is Stolen One Last Time

Fit to Be Tried

For Commencement Speaker, a Watergate Special Prosecutor

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