February 2023

Feb 27, 2023 | Monthly Newsletter

February Update from the Academic Freedom Alliance

Newest Additions to our Interview Series

This month, we released two new interviews as part of our regular series of conversations with leading scholars on academic freedom issues. 

The first is a conversation with Lars Jensen, a professor and chair of the math department at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. In late 2021, Professor Jensen was involved in an academic freedom controversy that made national headlines when he criticized the university’s new math standards. The AFA issued a public letter in his support on October 22, 2021.  In this interview, he reflects on the controversy and his views on academic freedom now that a year has passed. 

Our second interview this month was released yesterday featuring Professor Julia Mahoney, the John S. Battle Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. In 2021 she was among the 217 founding members of the AFA. In this interview, she discusses risks to academic freedom within law schools. As she puts it, “One might expect law school administrators to rank among the strongest advocates of freedoms of thought and expression, but unfortunately that appears not to be the case.”

Expanding Membership
We added eight new members in the past month for a total of 732 members. We continue to accept new members on a rolling basis. As always, please send any nominations to AFA Director of Operations Howard Muncy at hmuncy@academicfreedom.org.

Shining a Light on Similar Organizations

In January, we launched a new section on our website called Spotlight, dedicated to highlighting other groups around the country that defend academic freedom. After featuring The Classical Liberalism Initiative of the Stanford Graduate School of Business in January, we followed up this month by featuring the MIT Free Speech Alliance and the Cornell Free Speech Alliance, two organizations dedicated to promoting academic freedom and free expression in their campus communities. Our Spotlight page also features our longtime friends at the Heterodox Academy and The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE).

Coming Up on Two Years

It’s hard to believe, but the AFA is preparing to celebrate our two year anniversary on March 8th. We’ll commemorate the occasion with a look back at our growth and accomplishments since our launch in 2021. We’d appreciate your help marking the occasion on social media and taking this opportunity to nominate any colleagues interested in becoming members. Stay tuned for more on March 8th. 

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.