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This content is taken from the University of Oslo & Scholars at Risk's online course, Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds This week, we talked about how you can help promote academic freedom at your institution. The best way is to be proactive. Review your institution’s statement of values if it has one. If it doesn’t, organise an effort to develop one. And don’t forget your partnerships. Include a statement of values in your institution’s partnerships with other institutions. But a statement of values is not enough. To build a pro-values culture, you also need to ritualize values. That means putting mechanisms and procedures in place to create regular, repeated, visible, and meaningful opportunities to discuss values in your community before any incidents take place. And we shared a list of examples of steps you can take.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds But we also recognise that it takes time to build a culture of values. And in the meantime, values-related incidents may happen. If being proactive is the best way, the second best way is to be thoughtful about how you respond to values incidents when they happen. We discussed for tools to help you. First, we discussed frameworks for assessing incidents at home, the stakeholder assessment, and in partnerships– the partnership assessment. These two tools looked at the context in which incidents arise. Then we looked at the incident assessment. This tool helps you understand what happened and who did what to whom.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds Finally, we looked at the response assessment and designed to help you and your institution to decide whether to act in response to an incident, and, if so, how. We shared a list of possible responses, including examples that focused on promoting dialogue and others that focused on limiting programme activities. And we invited your help in developing new examples in growing the menu of responses we can all use.

Week 3 wrap up

In week three we discussed how you can contribute to promoting core values in your academic community. The best approach is to be proactive and to build a pro-values culture.

But value-related incidents could still arise. So we discussed three tools to help you being thoughtful in dealing with these incidents:

  1. The stakeholder/partnership assessment tool
  2. The incident assessment tool
  3. The response assessment tool

Finally, we shared an incomplete menu of response options, including dialogue-focused and program-focused responses. And we invited your help in adding to the menu.

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This video is from the free online course:

Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters

University of Oslo

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