i dream of being possible

'My opinions are my own...'

One thing I really don’t get is why so many professionals I see use this disclaimer (particularly those of use working in academic settings).

I suppose I imagine that there have been people punished for stuff they’ve written or expressed because ‘it reflected badly on the institution’ but outside of a corporate environment, I’m unclear as to why this is a problem.

Like, when people publish articles or any other type of material, few people write “This article is my own and not endorsed by my institution.”

For academic freedom, I understand that there is some areas where there is a grey zone between our actions in a ‘professional’ capacity and those on our personal time.

The thing I find really curious about it is, isn’t the purpose of all of this that our employers shield us from litigation and liability, rather than the other way around? And if I’m wrong about this… then, what, exactly are our institutions actually doing to guard our academic freedom (if are at a place that has this)?

Because my opinions are a reflection not only of my professional environment, but the education I’ve received and while, yes, they can be uninformed, incorrect, or outright bigoted, this rarely seems to trouble universities in a research context. And I find this interesting because the institutional impacts of sheltering someone like this are far more damaging both to the institution’s reputation (and of the larger academic community) than pretty much anything I can do as an individual with my twitter account.