Academic Freedom Bill

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A Senate committee is scheduled to consider a bill Wednesday that would protect the academic freedom of college students and faculty members.

The bill would also bar the use of political or religious views for reward, advancement, special protection or unsupported claims of discrimination.

Lawmakers say the bill was being drafted before the firestorm surrounding University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who wrote an essay that likened victims of the September Eleventh terrorist attacks to a Nazi.

Last year, Republicans tried to pass a bill they said protected the rights of conservative students on campus.

The bill's sponsor, Democratic Senator Bob Hagedorn of Aurora says that effort has left professors afraid to discuss controversial subjects.