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There are two distinct accounts of academic freedom. The first refers to professional ideals of university governance, the second to principles of constitutional law. Viewed as an ideal of university governance, academic freedom is essential to the ongoing administration of institutions of higher education. The American concept of academic freedom began in the early years of the twentieth century. Its first great statement was in the 1915 Declaration of Principles of Academic Freedom by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The president of the Association at that time was John Dewey. The principal drafters of the 1915 Declaration were the economist Edwin R. A. Seligman and the philosopher Arthur 0. Lovejoy.

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