AFA Sends Two Letters Regarding Academic Freedom Cases

Nov 16, 2021 | Press Release

AFA Sends Two Letters Regarding Academic Freedom Cases

Letters address controversies at the University of Michigan and Indiana University

PRINCETON, NJ – Today, the Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) sent two new letters to universities in regard to ongoing academic freedom concerns. 


Follow up letter to the University of Michigan

The AFA sent a follow-up letter to the University of Michigan relating to the Bright Sheng controversy, responding to an open letter circulating among the faculty that justifies the investigation and proposes troublesome “anti-racist” policies that would enable similar future investigations. The AFA called the faculty letter “deeply incompatible with any meaningful understanding of academic freedom” and urged the university to reject it. 


Letter to Indiana University on Open Records Requests

In a letter to Indiana University, the AFA expressed concern over open records requests for the emails of law school Professor Steve Sanders after he raised questions regarding the appointment of the university’s president. The university has refused to deny that the law firm requesting the records was acting on the behalf of the university itself. The AFA’s letter expresses “concern at this apparent effort to intimidate and harass a member of the faculty, potentially at the behest of the university leadership.”



The Academic Freedom Alliance is a diverse alliance of college and university faculty members who are dedicated to upholding the principles of academic freedom and professorial free speech. These principles are central to the mission of our institutions of higher education for the pursuit of truth and knowledge. The AFA is committed to defending universal principles of academic freedom and will come to the assistance of professors regardless of their individual views. The Academic Freedom Alliance itself takes no position on the merits of the substantive content of faculty speech or writing.

Learn More About the Academic Freedom Alliance

No one, at any academic institution, should fear suppression or retaliation for speaking out publicly in any form. We encourage you to join the movement in supporting the flourishing of intellectual life and the pursuit of knowledge and truth at institutions of higher learning.