Thursday, March 16, 2017

AAUP's Statement and Recommendations regarding Harassment of Faculty

 Targeted Online Harassment of Faculty

This statement addresses increasing concerns about efforts to intimidate and harass faculty. The Professor Watchlist website, claiming to identify professors who "advance leftist propaganda in the classroom" is one example of such efforts. The statement includes recommendations for administrations, governing boards, faculty bodies, and individual faculty members to defend academic freedom, condemn targeted harassment of faculty, and to prohibit surreptitious recordings of faculty and students.

Targeted Online Harassment of Faculty

The 2016 election has exacerbated a political climate that was already inimical to academic freedom. Six years ago the American Association of University Professors conveyed its concern that “the war on terror, the conflict in the Middle East, and a resurgence of the culture wars in such scientific fields as health and the environment” had created an atmosphere “in which partisan political interests threaten to overwhelm academic judgment.”[1] Since the election, we have seen a resurgence of politically motivated witch hunts against academic scientists working in fields such as climate change and fetal tissue research, where the implications of scientific findings are perceived as threats by entrenched interests and partisan ideologues. In addition to the “danger zones” for academic freedom enumerated in 2011, issues related to racial justice have also come to the forefront in the course of the last two years and played a prominent role in the most recent election. Read More

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