Academic Freedom of Alliance

Academic Freedom of Alliance March 23, 2021

I am happy to announce the launching of the Academic Freedom Alliance, a new group of professors dedicated to the cultivation, protection, and defense of academic freedom. According to its website,

The Academic Freedom Alliance is an alliance of college and university faculty members who are dedicated to upholding the principle of academic freedom. This principle is central to the mission of our institutions for the pursuit of truth and knowledge. Our members from across the political spectrum recognize that an attack on academic freedom anywhere is an attack on academic freedom everywhere.

The organization will support academic freedom by two means:

First, our members will defend faculty members’ freedom of thought and expression in their work as researchers and writers or in their lives as citizens, within established ethical and legal bounds; freedom to design courses and conduct classes using reasonable pedagogical judgment; and freedom from ideological tests, affirmations, and oaths. Second, the AFA will aid in providing legal support to faculty whose academic freedom is threatened by institutions’ or officials’ violations of constitutional, statutory, contractual, or school-based rights.

I am honored to have been invited to be one of AFA’s founding members.  Among the 200 or so founding members  is my Baylor colleague George Yancey.  Other founding members include some of the most well-known American public intellectuals representing a variety of disciplines and differing points of view across the political spectrum.  Among them are AFA’s Chair Keith Whittington (Princeton), Brian Leiter (Chicago), Robert P. George (Princeton),  John McWhorter (Columbia), Molly Worthern (UNC-Chapel Hill), Peter Singer (Princeton), Jeannie Suk Gersen (Harvard), Vincent Phillip Munoz (Notre Dame), Orlando Patterson (Harvard), David Schmidtz (Arizona), Mark Lilla (Columbia), Cornel West (Harvard), Eugene Volokh (UCLA), Jennifer Frey (South Carolina), and Jonathan Haidt (NYU). Read more about the AFA on its website here.

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