In defense of academic freedom


December 27, 2001

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

This message is to update you on the current status of the statement in defense of academic freedom which has been circulating by email over the past two months.

The good news is that there has been a tremendous response, with well over 3000 endorsers both from the United States and from many other countries. The statement has received some media attention (see, for example, http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4322832,00.html), and new endorsements continue to arrive every day.


The bad news is that since the statement was first formulated, the threats to academic freedom have increased. Last month, for example, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (a private organization whose founders include Lynne Cheney and Senator Joseph Lieberman) issued a report accusing numerous faculty members who have criticized US policy of being unpatriotic (see http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=12355). Given the source, it is hard not to see this report as representing a potential academic blacklist.

Even more worrying is the University of South Florida's decision earlier this month to dismiss Dr. Sami Al-Arian, a tenured professor of computer science, after he was attacked in the media because of his political activity (see http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemId=12547). Developments such as these make it all the more urgent for us to speak out in defense of academic freedom.

We have made some small changes to the original statement to correct an inaccuracy that was pointed out to us and to update its content. The latest version is appended below and can also be found at our new website: http://www.academicfreedomnow.org. The website also lists many of the endorsers (the rest will be added as soon as we can finish the time-consuming job of compiling them all), and allows supporters to both endorse and make contributions on-line.

We would particularly like to thank all those who have already donated money towards publishing the statement. We have raised sufficient money for the statement to appear in the London Review of Books (which has wide circulation in the US as well as in Britain) next month.
We would still like to publish the statement as a full-page ad in the New York Times, but we have discovered that this will cost many tens of thousands of dollars, which is considerably in excess of the money we have so far received. However, if everyone who has endorsed the statement but who has not yet made a contribution were to donate $20, we would raise sufficient funds. Even if an ad in the New York Times proves beyond our reach, publication in the New York Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education and similar venues, is considerably less expensive. If you have not made a donation, we urge you to consider sending what you can--your contribution will be put to good use. (Contributions can be made at the website or sent to CERSC, P.O. Box 258082, Chicago, IL 60625.)

Thank you for speaking out in support of academic freedom at this critical time. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. And please continue to circulate the statement (endorsements can still be sent to academicfreedomnow@hotmail.com) or direct potential endorsers to our website (http://www.academicfreedomnow.org).

Sincerely,

Phil Gasper, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Notre Dame de Namur University (pgasper@ndnu.edu)
Bill Keach, Professor of English, Brown University (william_keach@brown.edu)



STATEMENT IN DEFENSE OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM--REVISED TEXT

In the crisis precipitated by the terrible events of September 11, members of academic communities across the U.S. have participated in teach-ins, colloquia, demonstrations, and other events aimed at developing an informed critical understanding of what happened and why. Now that the U.S. is waging war in Afghanistan, such activities are continuing.

Unfortunately, some of those who have been critical of U.S. policy have been threatened and attacked for speaking out. Trustees of the City University of New York voted to condemn faculty members who criticized U.S. foreign policy at a forum in October. The president of the University of Texas at Austin publicly denounced a prominent faculty critic of U.S. policy. Efforts by pro-war students, alumni, and prominent media outlets to silence criticism and dissent have been reported at the University of New Mexico, Brown University, MIT, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and elsewhere.

Some faculty members have been suspended or threatened with suspension, others have received death threats or have been physically threatened. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, founded by Lynne Cheney (wife of U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney), has issued a report listing faculty members it considers insufficiently patriotic.

Attacks on faculty who have questioned or dissented from the Bush administration's current war policy have coincided with other ominous developments. Colleges and universities are being pressured by agencies of the federal government to hand over confidential information from student files. And there are moves in Congress to limit visas for students from abroad.
We call on all members of the academic community to speak out strongly in defense of academic freedom and civil liberties, not just as an abstract principle but as a practical necessity. At a moment such as this, we must make sure that all informed voices-especially those that are critical and dissenting-are heard.


 In defense of academic freedom

The following statement in defense of academic freedom is being circulated by concerned faculty members. If you would like to endorse the statement, please send your name, academic position and affiliation, and contact information to academicfreedomnow@hotmail.com. Non-academic endorsers are also welcome.

We hope to publish the statement as a full page ad in the New York Times and possibly other media outlets with the names of hundreds or thousands of endorsers. The cost will be many thousands of dollars. If you would like to make a contribution towards the cost of publishing the statement, please send a check to:

Center for Economic Research and Social Change P.O. Box 258082 Chicago, IL 60625

Mark your check "Academic Freedom Ad".

Please contact the email address above if you have any questions or comments.


To fellow teachers and staff members:

 

In the crisis precipitated by the terrible events of September 11, members of academic communities across the U.S. have participated in teach-ins, colloquia, demonstrations, and other events aimed at developing an informed critical understanding of what happened and why. Now that the U.S. is waging war in Afghanistan, such acitivites are continuing.

Unfortunately, some participants in these events have been threatened and attacked for speaking out. Trustees of the City University of New York are planning formal denunciations of faculty members who criticized U.S. foreign policy at a teach-in during the first week in October. There have been similar efforts to silence criticism and dissent at the University of Texas at Austin, MIT, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and elsewhere. AAUP director of public policy Ruth Flower told the Boston Globe on October 6, "We're watching these developments with a lot of concern."

Attacks on faculty who have questioned or dissented from the Bush administration's current war policy have coincided with other ominous developments. Colleges and universities are being pressured by agencies of the federal government to hand over confidential information from studentfiles. And there are moves in Congress to limit visas for students from abroad.

We call on all members of the the academic community to speak out strongly in defense of academic freedom and civil liberties, not just as an abstract principle but as a practical necessity. At a moment such as this we must make sure that all informed voices-especially those that are critical and dissenting-are heard.


First signatures

Nigel Alderman, Assistant Professor of English, Yale University

Anatole Anton, Professor of Philosophy, San Francisco State University

Anthony Arnove, Adjunct Professor of Communications, Rhode Island College

Nancy L. Ashton, Associate Professor, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

Gregory A. Baker, Director and Associate Professor, Food and Agribusiness Institute, Santa Clara University

Suzanne Baker, Lecturer in Anthropology, Creighton University

Davarian L. Baldwin, Assistant Professor of History, Boston College

John D. Bandy, Instructor of Sociology; Oglala Lakota College

Alexandra Barron, Assistant Instructor, Department of English, University of Texas at Austin

Mark Bartlett, Associate Professor, Humanities and Science & Graduate Studies, California College of Arts and Crafts

Jaime Becker, Graduate Student, Sociology Department, University of California, Davis

Mark Beeman, Professor of Sociology, Northern Arizona University

Rick Berg, Unemployed Adjunct

Elaine Bernard, Harvard University Trade Union Program

Shelley Blackman, Reference Librarian, Heafey Law Library, University of Santa Clara

Joshua Brandon, MA candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada

Eliot Brenner, Chicago

Dan Brook, Instructor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Susan Bruce, Lecturer, School of English and Philosophy, Keele University, U.K.

Dennis Brutus, Professor Emeritus, Department of Africana Studies, University of Pittsburgh

Mari Jo Buhle, Brown University

Paul Buhle, Brown University

Richard A. Dello Buono, Fulbright Professor, 2001, Panama City, Panama

Michael Burawoy, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Robert Buzzanco, Associate Professor of History, University of Houston

Alex Callinicos, Professor of Politics, University of York, U.K.

Eduardo Capulong, Director of Public Interest and Public Policy Programs & Lecturer in Law, Stanford Law School

Mia Carter, Associate Professor of English, University of Texas-Austin

Sean Chabot, Doctoral Student, Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Lin Kaatz Chary, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago

Renny Christopher, Associate Professor of English, California State University, Stanislaus

Dana Cloud, Associate Professor of Communication, University of Texas at Austin

Jane L. Curry, Associate Professor of Political Science, Santa Clara University

Anne D'Arcy, Departments of English and Philosophy, California State University, Chico

Diane Davis, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, University of Texas at Austin

Lennard J. Davis, Professor and Head, Department of English and Professor of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois--Chicago

Mario Diani, Professor of Sociology, Università di Trento, Italy

Lauren Dietrich, Undergraduate, Stanford University

Bill Dixon, Lecturer, Department of Criminology, Keele University, U.K.

Emory Elliott, University Professor, University of California, Riverside

Marc Epprecht, Assistant Professor of History, Queen's University, Kingston ON, Canada

Barbara Epstein, Professor of History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz

Samuel Farber, Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Ansar Fayyazuddin, Assistant Professor of Physics, Stockholm University, Sweden & Visiting Scientist, Center for Theoretical Physics, MIT

Crystal Feimster, Assistant Professor of History, Boston College

Serra Fels, Undergraduate, Stanford University

Milton Fisk, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Indiana University, Bloomington

Donna Flayhan, Assistant Professor of Communication & Media Studies, Goucher College

Tucker Foehl, Graduate Student, American Studies, Yale University

Barbara Foley, Professor of English, Rutgers University, Newark

Cynthia Franklin, Associate Professor of English, University of Hawai'i

Amelia Frank-Vitale, Yale University '05

Rosemary Frank-Vitale, Reading, PA

Dorothea French, History Department, Santa Clara University

Phil Gasper, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Notre Dame de Namur University

Richard Gibson, Associate Professor of Social Studies, San Diego State University

Kevin Gillan, Research Student, Politics Department, University of Sheffield, U.K.

Glenda E. Gilmore, Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History, Yale University

Eric Glynn, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Julian Go, Academy Scholar, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University

Penny Green, Professor of Law and Criminology, University of Westminster, U.K.

Jean Grossholtz, Professor of Politics and Women's Studies, Mount Holyoke College

John Gulick, Postgraduate Researcher, Institute for Research on World-Systems, University of California, Riverside

Chadwick W. Hale, Graduate Student of Philosophy & Presidential Doctoral Fellow, University of South Florida

Nigel Harris, Professor Emeritus, University College, London, U.K.

Jonathan H. Harwell, Reference/Interlibrary Loan Librarian, Berry College

Anne Hayner, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Lisa Heldke, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College

Pedro Hernandez-Ramos, Assistant Professor of Education & Program Director, Center for Science, Technology & Society, Santa Clara University

Patricia Penn Hilden, Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Jonathan Hunt, Lecturer in English, Santa Clara University

Ron Jacobs, Bailey Howe Library, University of Vermont

Robert Jensen, Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin

Amy J. Johnson, Assistant Professor of History, Berry College

Priya Joshi, Assistant Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley

Sanjay Joshi, Assistant Professor of History, Northern Arizona University

Philip J. Kain, Professor of Philosophy, Santa Clara University

Dennis Kalob, Associate Professor of Sociology & Director of General Education, New England College

William Keach, Professor of English, Brown University

Nancee Kesinger, Professor of English, San Diego Mesa College

Michael Kevane, Department of Economics, Santa Clara University

Sharon Kinsella, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Yale University

Kristin Kusanovich, Lab Instructor, Theatre and Dance, Santa Clara University

Scott LaBarge, Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Classics, Santa Clara University

Mark Lance, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Georgetown University

Mark A. Lause, Associate Professor of History, University of Cincinnati

Charles Lawrence, Associate Professor of Sociology, Seattle University

Debbie LeAnce, President/Founder of Student Coalition for Peace, University of California, Riverside

Steve Leigh, Program Coordinator, Department of Health Services, University of Washington

Tom Lewis, Professor of Spanish, University of Iowa

Anne Lewinson, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Berry College

Michael I. Lichter, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Buffalo

Catherine Lord, Professor of Studio Art, University of California, Irvine.

Robin Lorentzen, Professor of Sociology, Albertson College of Idaho

Jan Lucassen, Senior Research Fellow, International Institute of Social History, Netherlands

John MacKay, Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Yale University

Sanjoy Mahajan, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, U.K.

Jose Gabriel Maldonado-Rivera, Chair, Department of Education, Hartwick College

Ronald Markwardt Research Associate, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sean Martin, Lecturer in Philosophy, Sonoma State University

Richard Edward Martinez, PhD Candidate, Department of Urban Planning, University of California at Los Angeles

Peter Mascini, Scholar, Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands

Susan Matt, Assistant Professor of History, Weber State University

Kathleen Maxwell, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, Santa Clara University

Louis Mendoza, Interim Director, Hispanic Research Center, University of Texas at San Antonio

Cynthia Metcalf, PhD Candidate in History, University of Virginia

Birgit Meyer, Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, Netherlands

Will Miller, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Vermont

Raza Mir, Assistant Professor of Management, Monmouth University

Annelies Moors, Professor and ISIM Chair, ASSR/Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Greg Moses, Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Marist College

Francis Mulhern, University Professor, Middlesex University, U.K.

Andrés J. Nader, Assistant Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Rochester

Clare Norins, Law Student, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Margo Okazawa-Rey, Professor of Social Work, San Francisco State University

Jeff Ostler, Associate Professor History, University of Oregon

Susan Gushee O'Malley, Professor of English, City University of New York

Ken Parsons, PhD Candidate, Michigan State University

Nadine Peacock, Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences and Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago

David Pesnichak, Undergraduate Senior/Southern Rockies Semester, Audubon Expedition Institute

Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Dwight R. Platt, Emeritus Professor of Biology, Bethel College

Kamala Platt, Lecturer, University of Texas, San Antonio & San Antonio College

Amy Traub Poole, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, Columbia University

Colm Power, Principal Researcher, 'Room to Roam: Britain's Irish Travellers' Research Project, St. Mary's College, U.K.

Kathryn Ray, Research Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Manchester, U.K.

Theodore F Rippey, Assistant Professor of German, Bowling Green State University

John E. Roemer, Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science and Economics, Yale University

Avital Ronell, Chair, German Department & Professor of German and Comparative Literature, New York University

Rodolfo Rosales, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Texas at San Antonio

Edward Said, University Professor, Columbia University

Bernie Sanabria, Assistant Director, The Career Center, Santa Clara University

Jeremy L. Sappington, Lecturer, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington

Jennifer Scappettone, PhD Candidate/Instructor, Department of English, Univeristy of California, Berkeley

Edward Schaefer, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Santa Clara University

Joseph Schaller, Department of Religious Studies, Nazareth College

Rebecca Schein, PhD Candidate, History of Consciousness Department, University of California, Santa Cruz

Zach Schiller, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of California, Davis

Eric Schocket, Assistant Professor of American Literature, Hampshire College

Juliet Schor, Department of Sociology, Boston College

Anne Scott, Associate Professor, Northern Arizona University

Helen Scott, Assistant Professor of English, University of Vermont

Conchita Franco Serri, Director, Office of Affirmative Action, Santa Clara University

Barry Shank, Associate Professor of Comparative Studies, Ohio State University

Kara Shaw, Teaching Fellow, School of Politics, International Relations and the Environment, Keele University, U.K.

Walt Sheasby, Adjunct Instructor, University of Phoenix & Rio Hondo College

Snehal Shingavi, PhD candidate/instructor, Department of English, Univeristy of California, Berkeley

Ashley Smith, Adjunct Professor, Johnson State University

George Snedeker, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York/College at OldWestbury

Susan B.A. Somers-Willett, Assistant Director, Master of Arts Creative Writing Concentration, English Department, University of Texas at Austin

Mindy Spatt, San Francisco

Johnnie Spraggins, Department of Sociology, Our Lady of the Lake University

Mary Stiles, Public Interest Program Coordinator, Stanford Law School

Nora Sveaass, Psychosocial Centre for Refugees, University of Oslo, Norway

Rhonda Taube, Assistant Professor of Art History, Mt. San Antonio College

Jennifer Terry, Associate Professor of Women's Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Julie M. Thompson, Assistant Professor of Communication, Southwestern University

Nicholas Toloudis, PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science, Columbia University

Laura Turney, Research Fellow, Dept of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Leeds

Jojada Verrips, Professor of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Luis A. Vivanco, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Vermont

Meredith Warden, Masters Program, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago

Dave Whyte, Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University, U.K.

Lisa A. Wilkinson, PhD candidate, Department of Philosophy, University of South Florida

Ed Wiltse, Assistant Professor of English, Nazareth College

Derek Wright, Researcher, Computer Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Emily Wright, Assistant Professor of English, Berry College

Dvora Yanow, Professor and Chair, Department of Public Administration, California State University, Hayward

Usha Zacharias, Assistant Professor, Westfield State College

Susan Zieger, Ph.D. Candidate, University of California, Berkeley

Howard Zinn, Emeritus Professor, Boston University

Deanna K. Kreisel, Assistant Professor of English Mississippi State University

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Associate Professor of Spanish Dartmouth College

Colin Barker, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University

Patrick Cuninghame PhD student, Middlesex University, London.

 

Page d'accueil de la
CICG
La lettre
de la CICG
Actualités contre la guerre L'Empire attaque L'Empire, l'Impérialisme ? Le renforcement de l'appareil répressif Liens Carte du site Contact
Manifestations, réunions... Lettres reçues par la CICG Les activités de la CICG Tous les groupes contre la guerre Afghanistan Palestine/ Israël Amérique latine Autres pays (Irak...) L'Empire US L'Europe Les enjeux économiques...