December Update from the Academic Freedom Alliance
We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and resting up before the spring semester. It’s been a busy year for the Academic Freedom Alliance and we’re grateful for all of the support, involvement, and continued interest from friends and members. As we close out the year, here is a recap of some of our accomplishments from 2022 and a look ahead to 2023.
- We have added 250 new members in 2022, bringing our total membership to 717 members from across 45 states and D.C., from a variety of academic disciplines, and from across the ideological spectrum. To support this continued growth, we have added two new members to our membership committee. We look forward to continuing to grow our membership in the year ahead. As always, please send any nominations to AFA Director of Operations Howard Muncy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cases and Letters:
- In 2022, the AFA issued 12 public statements and letters regarding academic freedom incidents, all of which are available on our website. For example, we spoke out in support of an NYU professor whose employment was not renewed due to his grading practices, a Concordia Wisconsin professor suspended for criticizing his university’s policies, and a San Diego State University professor suspended for mentioning racial epithets in a class on race, among others. We wrote to the University of Dayton regarding a speaker disinvitation and the University of Idaho regarding its guidance on classroom discussion of abortion. We also issued a statement on proposals from government officials in Texas to eliminate tenure.
- In August, the AFA issued a general guidance statement to the university community on required diversity statements. As our statement said, “The demand for diversity statements enlists academics into a political movement, erasing the distinction between academic expertise and ideological conformity.”
- The AFA has provided legal support to faculty under fire for speech. We also added Nadine Strossen to our Advisory Council. Strossen brings a wealth of experience and expertise on academic freedom to the organization.
- We continue to grow our presence online, including on our website, www.academicfreedom.org, which attracted 100,000 visitors in 2022, and on Twitter, where we gained nearly 2,000 followers.
- This year, we launched a new series of print interviews with leading scholars exploring their personal perspectives on academic freedom issues. This series includes conversations with Donald Downs, Anna Krylov, Nadine Strossen, David Greenberg, and Amna Khalid and Jeffrey Snyder, with more to come in 2023.
- The AFA continues to promote discussion and awareness of academic freedom through our official podcast, The Academic Freedom Podcast, which is available to stream on all major podcasting platforms. This year’s episodes have logged thousands of streams from all over the world.
In 2023, we look forward to further growing our membership and defending academic freedom wherever it is threatened. Your continued support is critical to advancing these efforts. Please consider donating through our website to help us double down on our support for academic freedom next year and beyond.
Thank you again for your support, and Happy New Year from the AFA team.