AFA Welcomes Nadine Strossen to its Legal Advisory Council
Strossen is a former President of the ACLU and expert on free speech issues
PRINCETON, NJ – The Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) today welcomed Professor Nadine Strossen of the New York Law School as the newest member of its Legal Advisory Council. A renowned expert on free speech issues, Professor Strossen served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008, the first woman to ever hold the position. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the ACLU, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Heterodox Academy, and the National Coalition Against Censorship.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Nadine Strossen to the Legal Advisory Council of the Academic Freedom Alliance,” said Keith Whittington, chair of the AFA’s Academic Committee. “We benefit from an extraordinary group of attorneys who have lent us their time and expertise, and Nadine’s addition is a terrific next step for the organization. Her experience, energy and dedication to the cause of protecting free speech and civil liberties in America is unparalleled, and I look forward to drawing on her talents as we move forward.”
“As a lifelong human rights advocate, I continue to view academic freedom and free speech as essential pillars of all other human rights,” said Professor Strossen. “Therefore, although I long have been active in several organizations that promote these freedoms, I applauded the founding of the Academic Freedom Alliance; its signature mission and strategy promised much-needed additional support for these embattled causes. High as my hopes for AFA were, its first year of action and impact have exceeded those hopes.”
As a member of the AFA’s Legal Advisory Council, Professor Strossen will join a team of distinguished lawyers who vet cases to determine whether the legal rights of AFA members have been violated or placed in jeopardy. The Advisory Council makes recommendations to our Academic Committee, which will make the final decision on when to provide financial support and whether to issue a private or public statement concerning the case.
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. As always, the AFA is not concerned with the substance or merits of a professor’s ideas but with the principle that universities should be places that tolerate controversial ideas and allow free inquiry and debate, not public opinion or political pressure, to separate error from truth.