Universidade sem ideologia

 Por Leonardo Correa

De uns tempos para cá, tenho ouvido que a Faculdade de Direito da PUC-Rio  – minha alma mater – está se tornando um reduto de doutrinação ideológica. Sei que esse texto anulará o meu desejo de dar aulas por lá e dividir o que apreendi ao estudar na University of Pennsylvania, nos EUA. Mas, infelizmente, não consigo me calar com as últimas informações que recebi.

Tive aulas excelentes, na PUC-Rio, com os Professores Marcelo Trindade, Maria Celina Bodin de Moraes, Carlos Rodolfo Tigre Maia, Luiz Bernardo da Rocha Gomide, Ivan Nunes Ferreira, João Batista Berthier Leite, Gilberto Martins de Almeida – sem qualquer ordem de preferência –, dentre outros, aos quais peço desculpa de não me referir expressamente (já se passaram 14 anos). Não posso falar o mesmo, contudo, de alguns professores que usaram a sala de aula para realizar doutrinação político-ideológica.

Sempre contestei estes últimos em sala de aula. Mas, pelos relatos que tive notícia, a liberdade que experimentei – quando o Juiz Federal Firly Nascimento Filho era o Diretor do Departamento – não existe mais. Recebi, na última semana, uma carta do Professor de Direito Penal Otávio Bravo. Um trecho em particular chamou a minha atenção, e me sinto no dever de transcrevê-lo abaixo:

“No início do ano em referência, tive uma divergência de opiniões políticas, tornada pública através de uma troca de mensagens eletrônicas no grupo de e-mails dos professores do Departamento de Direito, com o ex-Diretor do Departamento, Professor Adriano Pillatti, envolvendo posições jurídicas sobre o “Caso do Mensalão”. Na oportunidade, cheguei, em mensagem pública remetida a todos os professores do Departamento, a manifestar meu desconforto com o que enxergava como “patrulhamento ideológico” no Departamento de Direito da PUC-Rio. Independentemente do acerto ou não de meu ponto de vista, alguns professores, à época, se manifestaram, discordando da minha manifestação, e outros me mandaram mensagens de apoio, porque também se sentiam desconfortáveis com o tratamento das questões políticas e ideológicas entre o corpo docente da Faculdade de Direito da PUC-Rio.”

Na minha modesta opinião, a situação é gravíssima. Universidade é local de transferência de conhecimento e não de “patrulhamento ideológico”. Ponto. Política, dentro da sala de aula, só se for o objeto direto da matéria, e, pela sua própria natureza, deve permitir a livre expressão de todos os pontos de vista. Nesta questão, como quase tudo na vida, não há “donos da verdade”.

David Horowitz apresentou e vem defendendo o seguinte “Academic Bill of Rights” (http://www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org) nas Universidades Americanas. O texto segue em sua língua original para que não perca a essência:

“The Student Bill of Rights

I. The Mission of the University.

The central purposes of a University are the pursuit of truth, the discovery of new knowledge through scholarship and research, the study and reasoned criticism of intellectual and cultural traditions, the teaching and general development of students to help them become creative individuals and productive citizens of a pluralistic democracy, and the transmission of knowledge and learning to a society at large. Free inquiry and free speech within the academic community are indispensable to the achievement of these goals. The freedom to teach and to learn depend upon the creation of appropriate conditions and opportunities on the campus as a whole as well as in the classrooms and lecture halls. These purposes reflect the values — pluralism, diversity, opportunity, critical intelligence, openness and fairness — that are the cornerstones of American society.

II. Academic Freedom

1. The Concept. Academic freedom and intellectual diversity are values indispensable to the American university. From its first formulation in the General Report of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors, the concept of academic freedom has been premised on the idea that human knowledge is a never-ending pursuit of the truth, that there is no humanly accessible truth that is not in principle open to challenge, and that no party or intellectual faction has a monopoly on wisdom. Therefore, academic freedom is most likely to thrive in an environment of intellectual diversity that protects and fosters independence of thought and speech. In the words of the General Report, it is vital to protect “as the first condition of progress, [a] complete and unlimited freedom to pursue inquiry and publish its results.”

Because free inquiry and its fruits are crucial to the democratic enterprise itself, academic freedom is a national value as well. In a historic 1967 decision (Keyishian v. Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York ) the Supreme Court of the United States overturned a New York State loyalty provision for teachers with these words: “Our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, [a] transcendent value to all of us and not merely to the teachers concerned.” In Sweezy v. New Hampshire, (1957) the Court observed that the “essentiality of freedom in the community of American universities [was] almost self-evident.”

2. The Practice. Academic freedom consists in protecting the intellectual independence of professors, researchers and students in the pursuit of knowledge and the expression of ideas from interference by legislators or authorities within the institution itself. This means that no political, ideological or religious orthodoxy will be imposed on professors, researchers and students through the hiring or tenure or termination process, or through the grading system or through the control of the classroom or any other administrative means. Nor shall legislatures impose any such orthodoxy through their control of the university budget.

From its very first statement on academic freedom, the university community has recognized the vulnerability of students in particular to political and ideological abuses of the university as an institution. The 1915 General Report admonished faculty to avoid “taking unfair advantage of the student’s immaturity by indoctrinating him with the teacher’s own opinions before the student has had an opportunity fairly to examine other opinions upon the matters in question, and before he has sufficient knowledge and ripeness of judgment to be entitled to form any definitive opinion of his own.”

In The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the American Association of University Professors declared: “Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.” In a 1970 clarification and re-endorsement of this principle, the AAUP said: “The intent of this statement is not to discourage what is ‘controversial.’ Controversy is at the heart of the free academic inquiry, which the entire statement is designed to foster. The passage serves to underscore the need for teachers to avoid persistently intruding material which has no relation to their subject.” (“1970 Interpretative Comments,” endorsed by the 56th annual association meeting as association policy.)

In 1967, the AAUP’s Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students affirmed the inseparability of “the freedom to teach and freedom to learn.” In the words of the report, “Students should be free to take reasoned exception to the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve judgment about matters of opinion.”

Professors are hired to teach all students, not just students who share their political, religious and philosophical beliefs. It is essential therefore, that professors and lecturers not force their opinions about philosophy, politics and other contestable issues on students in the classroom and in all academic environments. This is a cardinal principle of academic freedom laid down by the American Association of University Professors.

In an academic environment professors are in a unique position of authority vis-à-vis their students. The use of academic incentives and disincentives to advance a partisan or sectarian view creates an environment of indoctrination which is unprofessional and contrary to the educational mission. It is a violation of students’ academic freedom. The creation of closed, political fiefdoms in colleges, programs or departments, is the opposite of academic freedom, and does not deserve public subsidy or private educational support.

Therefore, to ensure the integrity of the educational process and to protect the principle of intellectual diversity, the following principles and procedures shall be observed. These principles fully apply only to public universities and to private universities that present themselves as bound by the canons of academic freedom. Private institutions choosing to restrict academic freedom on the basis of creed have an obligation to be as explicit as is possible about the scope and nature of these restrictions.

1. Students will be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines they study, not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.

2. Curricula and reading lists in the humanities and social sciences should reflect the uncertainty and unsettled character of all human knowledge in these areas by providing students with dissenting sources and viewpoints where appropriate. While teachers are and should be free to pursue their own findings and perspectives in presenting their views, they should consider and make their students aware of other viewpoints. Academic disciplines should welcome a diversity of approaches to unsettled questions.

3. Exposing students to the spectrum of significant scholarly viewpoints on the subjects examined in their courses is a major responsibility of faculty. Faculty will not use their courses for the purpose of political, ideological, religious or anti-religious indoctrination.”

Talvez seja o caso de traduzir essas ideias e adaptá-las às nossas realidades para que os centros acadêmicos – se acharem que seja o caso (e após os debates dos alunos) –, negociem livremente os termos que entenderem pertinentes junto às suas respectivas universidades. Gostaria de deixar claro que não estou impondo ideias americanas para os nossos estudantes. Fiz referência ao texto acima, apenas e tão somente, com o intuito de iniciar os debates. Que os alunos consigam lutar pelo que acreditam e consigam criar regras livremente negociadas com os seus departamentos. Trata-se de uma importante medida de liberdade e cidadania. Desejo-lhes toda a sorte do mundo!

 

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