Nicole Rangel is an educator and PhD candidate in the Social and Cultural Studies of Education program at University of California, Berkeley. Nicole’s research has woven together theories of decolonization and play studies in order to generate holistic approaches to education. More currently, she is a David P. Gardner Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Studies of Higher Education and is working on her dissertation. This research explores how the “neoliberalization of the university,” a concept central to critical university studies, affects how academic freedom is valued and practiced at two U.S. public ivy schools. Using a comparative case study approach, this work draws on various data sources including in-depth interviews with public intellectuals (as defined by Edward Said), and aims to elucidate ways of reinforcing the academy’s connection to, and responsibility for the public that it is tasked to serve.