Monthly Update from the Academic Freedom Alliance
Welcome to the AFA’s monthly newsletter, our newest way of keeping members and friends informed of our efforts to promote and defend academic freedom. With this month’s newsletter, we offer updates on our activities to date since launching in March 2021. In future months, we’ll focus on activities since our last update.
- Since launching in March 2021 with 217 founding members, the AFA has significantly expanded the size and diversity of our membership. As of this month, we have 658 members from across 45 states and D.C., from a variety of academic disciplines, and from across the ideological spectrum. The membership has grown to include a large number of institutions, public and private, large and small.
- The effort to add more members is still underway and we welcome recommendations from current AFA members of professors who would be good additions to the alliance.
Cases and Letters
- Since our founding, the AFA has provided financial support for the legal defense of 12 individuals whose academic freedom was under attack.
- The AFA has also issued public statements in 17 cases and sent letters to universities on related issues such as speaker disinvitations. All told, the AFA has sent 24 public letters to colleges and universities, all of which are available on our website.
- The AFA has issued two general guidance statements to the university community at large: On mandatory statements of values (11/5/21) and on required diversity statements (8/22/22).
- 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. Our 16 episodes have logged more than 10,000 streams from all over the world. The latest episode featured an exclusive interview with outgoing Purdue President Mitch Daniels.
- We continue to grow our presence online, including on our website, www.academicfreedom.org, which has been visited nearly 200,000 times since our launch, and on Twitter, where we raise awareness about our activities as well as general developments in the world of academic freedom. We currently have 3,400 Twitter followers and average more than 50,000 impressions per month.
- This summer, we launched a new series of print interviews with leading scholars, exploring their personal perspectives on academic freedom issues. This series so far includes interviews with Donald Downs, Anna Krylov, Nadine Strossen, and David Greenberg.