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Following are excerpts from a speech on "Academic Freedom" delivered by the Hon. Ogden L. Mills '05, before the Harvard Club of New York.
"First as to outside activities. A teacher has as much right to engage in outside activities, to give advice and to express his views on public questions as any other professional man. When he does, surely he must speak according to his own conscience and convictions.
"A university exists for the pursuit and dissemination of learning. If it is not a place where men may seek the truth with open minds it betrays its true character and purpose. Search for the truth means a constant endeavor to widen the boundaries of knowledge, and there is here a fatal contradiction if men are compelled to accept as final any particular social, political or other philosophy, or if restrictions are placed on their critical faculties, or if they are forbidden to state the truth as they honestly find it.
"In the life of a university, as in the life of the world at large, there is no source of creative activity other than the individual human spirit. Confine that spirit within rigid limits, and it soon becomes sterile. That is the unanswerable reason for unswerving fidelity to the principle of academic freedom. Upon its maintenance depends the continued vitality of Harvard and every other university.
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