A group of scholars have created a new non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the academic freedom of higher education faculty
The Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) aims to protect “the rights of faculty members at colleges and universities to speak, instruct, and publish without fear of sanction or punishment.”
Members of the AFA 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.”
The AFA will also help with “providing legal support to faculty whose academic freedom is threatened by institutions’ or officials’ violations of constitutional, statutory, contractual, or school-based rights.”
The AFA aims to be a viewpoint-neutral defender of academic freedom:
The AFA seeks to counteract pressures on employers to take actions against employees whose views, statements, or teachings they may disapprove or dislike. We oppose such pressures from the government, college or university officials, and individuals or groups inside or outside colleges and universities. Recognizing the array of political viewpoints in a college or university that respects academic freedom, the AFA’s defense of faculty members’ academic freedom does not depend on viewpoint, nor does it endorse the content of what they express. What we defend is members’ right of expression.
Membership in the AFA is currently by invitation only, though membership is not required in order to be recipient of its assistance. The organization currently has nearly 200 members, including many philosophers. You can learn more about the organization at its website and in an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.