Florida Higher Education is supported nationwide!
American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
Special Committee to Report on Academic Freedom in Florida “In response to a barrage of hostile actions affecting academic freedom and faculty governance in Florida’s public higher education institutions, AAUP executive director Julie Schmid has appointed a special committee to review an apparent pattern of politically and racially motivated attacks on higher education in the state. AAUP-supported principles on academic freedom and shared governance, which have been widely adopted by the academic community, insist that institutions of higher learning remain free from political intrusion.”
AAUP’s historical defense of tenure and academic freedom includes investigations by the Association’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure. An investigation into Florida’s entire higher education system, rather than a single institution, is a valuable indicator of how widespread the escalating attacks on these fundamental principles of our work have become. As an example of the kinds of reports this committee has produced in the past, please see the attached April 2022 report regarding “Governance, Academic Freedom, and Institutional Racism in the University of North Carolina System.”
Joint Statement on Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism “We strongly oppose these efforts to stifle education about racism and American history in schools, colleges, and universities. Along with more than seventy other organizations who have signed on to a statement authored by the AAUP, PEN America, the American Historical Association, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, we affirm that Americans of all ages deserve nothing less than a free and open exchange about history and the forces that shape our world today.”
African American Policy Forum (AAPF)
Open Letter on Fighting “Anti-Woke” Censorship of Intersectionality and Black Feminism The arc of history bends backwards if we allow our conceptual assets to be stripped away. The fight for our ideas, our language, and our history is critical to the fight for our lives. Thus, we demand that the College Board restore critical concepts, scholarship, and frameworks to the African American Studies course, and to resist pending demands from other states to bend to their “anti-woke” orthodoxy.
American Anthropological Association (AAA)
Black History/Academic Freedom Under Attack in Florida Black History is American History. These issues are fundamental, not optional. AAA reaffirms its commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and human rights. We call on our colleagues to apply their professional research, scholarship, practice, and teaching to continue overturning the deeply entrenched institutional sources of race-based inequality that are barriers to a more just and sustainable world.
Appointees to New College of Florida an Attack on Academic Integrity Our enduring commitment is to the principles of academic freedom, which are essential for researchers, teachers, and students to advance the purpose of institutions of higher education, including the New College of Florida, in serving the common good. We are concerned that the addition of these newly appointed trustees is a potential threat to the College’s academic integrity, and its faculty’s freedom of academic inquiry and expression. On behalf of the American Anthropological Association and the organizations listed below, we call for a halt to this repressive, alarming ideological agenda and urge in the strongest possible terms for the overall Board of Trustees to continue to preserve, protect, and promote the pursuit of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas.
America Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
ACLA Executive Committee calls for resignation of Florida college presidents “ACLA will stand by “critical race theory” in its conferences, publications, and any other means of supporting intellectual inquiry that it possesses. The 28 Florida college presidents have abandoned their scholarly and ethical responsibilities. We call on the 28 to resign their positions, and invite other college presidents, provosts, and deans to join in this call.”
American Council of Learned Societies
The Effort to Undermine Academic Freedom in Florida House Bill 999 – ACLS The American Council of Learned Societies and the signatories below protest this proposed legislation and call on citizens to recognize the danger it poses to higher education in this country. Academic freedom means freedom of thought, not the state-mandated production of histories edited to suit one party’s agenda in the current culture wars.
ACLS Statement In Support of Academic Freedom and New College of Florida “ACLS stands up in support of ex-President Okker, the New College community, and faculty and students at institutions of higher education around the country who are experiencing similar political interventions. We believe that higher education is based on critical thinking and informed debate. We recognize that differences of opinion are vital to academic inquiry, and we support the rights of all students and faculty to freely engage in scholarly conversation and civil debate. This is precisely what is threatened in this moment.”
American Historical Association (AHA)
AHA Statement Opposing Florida House Bill 999 We express horror (not our usual “concern”) at the assumptions that lie at the heart of this bill and its blatant and frontal attack on principles of academic freedom and shared governance central to higher education in the United States. Florida’s legislature has on its agenda a dagger to the heart of an American institutional framework that has long been the envy of the world (and a source of billions of dollars in revenue from international students).
American Philosophical Association (APA)
Board Statement on Academic Freedom in Florida The American Philosophical Association (APA) Board of Officers applauds and endorses the AAUP’s actions in response to “hostile actions affecting academic freedom and faculty governance in Florida’s public higher education institutions.” The APA reaffirms its commitment to the AAUP statement and to the core value reflected in that statement: academic freedom. Academic freedom in the classroom and in scholarly endeavors is foundational to the forms of inquiry that shape philosophy, as an academic discipline and as a profession. “
American Psychological Association (APA)
APA supports right of educators to do their jobs without political interference “The American Psychological Association stands firmly behind the principle of allowing educators and researchers to disseminate and pursue knowledge freely and responsibly, and to do their jobs without political interference. Refusing to provide students with an accurate depiction of history is harmful. Telling educators that they may not talk about concepts central to diversity, equity and inclusion hurts students and limits teachers’ ability to fulfill their professional responsibilities.”
American Sociological Association (ASA)
American Sociological Association Statement on the Importance of Teaching and Learning About Race and Racism “The American Sociological Association (ASA) strongly supports scholars, teachers, and researchers who are committed to raising awareness about the impact of race and racism in American and global society. The ASA urges public officials, educators, and lawmakers to avoid suppressing knowledge, violating academic and free speech, and prohibiting scholars and teachers from discussing and teaching about the roles of race and racism in society.”
American Studies Association (ASA)
Resolution on Defending Academic Freedom Against Attacks on “Critical Race Theory” “…the ASA resolutely rejects any attempts by bodies external to college and university faculty to restrict or dictate college and university curriculum on any matter, including matters related to racial, gender and social justice, and will firmly oppose encroachment on faculty authority by legislatures, boards of trustees, and similar or analogous bodies; “
Resolutions and statements have been issued by the American Studies Association for nearly two decades. “While resolutions and statements may be read separately, taken altogether they convey the association’s sustained commitment to the critical importance of dissent.” For more Resolutions and Statements.
Florida Philosophical Association (FPA)
Open Letter to All Academic Leaders at Florida State Colleges and Universities Academic integrity and scholarly rigor depend on inquiry and debate guided by the norms of our professions, rather than political parties. Responsible teaching depends on pedagogical expertise and a willingness to experiment with new ways of reaching students with diverse experiences, aspirations, needs, and abilities. The Florida Philosophical Association joins the American Philosophical Association (APA), the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) in affirming the importance of shared governance in higher education, free from partisan political intrusion.
The Labor and Working-Class History Association (LAWCHA)
LAWCHA Florida Statement “Unions protect tenure; they can bargain over matters related to academic freedom; and they protect teachers and faculty from arbitrary dismissal or other punitive actions. On a political level, faculty unions in Florida are among the few organizations with the sustained power to challenge Boards of Trustees and state legislators who want to control what is taught in Florida’s classrooms. We at LAWCHA stand for a different vision of the university and the classroom, one in which governments and Boards of Trustees cannot dictate what educators choose to teach. Labor rights, we believe, are an essential precondition for academic and intellectual freedom.”
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Response to Florida Violations of Shared Governance and Academic Freedom “The political machinations in Florida that have resulted in what dismissed New College of Florida president Patricia Okker referred to as a “hostile takeover” are in violation of every standard of shared governance, including those of the MLA and the AAUP. We urge you to use the standards and guidelines of the profession to shore up shared governance on your campus and to ensure that faculty members and administrators work together to maintain academic freedom and build equitable practices on your campus and across higher education.”
The Philosophy of Education Society (PES)
“The Philosophy of Education Society endorses the AAUP’s actions in response to “hostile actions affecting academic freedom and faculty governance in Florida’s public higher education institutions.” The AAUP states,
AAUP-supported principles on academic freedom and shared governance, which have been widely adopted by the academic community, insist that institutions of higher learning remain free from political intrusion. In a democratic society, political restrictions on teaching and scholarship cannot be countenanced if institutions of higher learning are to contribute to the common good.
Among the core purposes of PES, as stated in the organization’s constitution, is “to advance and improve teaching in the philosophy of education both in schools for the education of teachers and in other educational institutions “. As such, PES recognizes that the current actions in Florida and elsewhere affecting academic freedom in universities and colleges limit the organization’s ability to advance and improve teaching in our field, as they limit the range of subjects that philosophy of education might engage.
PES endorses the AAUP statement and the core value reflected in that statement: academic freedom as a necessary condition for achieving our constitutional purposes. (March 5, 2023).” – Email to UFF via Natasha Levinson, Executive Director of the Philosophy of Education Society.
Professional Staff Congress (PSC) / CUNY
Statement of Solidarity with Florida’s Public Higher Education Workers “The PSC stands in solidarity with the members of the United Faculty of Florida (NEA/AFT) and other unions at Florida’s public universities, colleges, and community colleges. Over the past two years, Florida elected officials have attacked the independence and integrity of the state’s public higher education institutions. Violating established academic governance and stoking racist fears about curricula and policies that address racial injustice, they have imposed tighter governmental control on public higher education. Introducing a requirement for five-year post-tenure reviews, they have undermined tenure and academic freedom. Faced with these alarming developments, Florida higher education union members have defended the value of colleges and universities that welcome all students into a diverse scholarly community of open inquiry. We applaud their work as scholars and educators and their courage in affirming the contributions that a public higher education system—like theirs and like ours in New York—can make to an inclusive and democratic society.”
The Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)
Reaffirming Our Commitment to Support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives “We strongly oppose interventions to censor the teaching of science or limit academic freedom. Sharing research findings and discussing these issues is crucial for preparing the next generation of scientists, and preventing faculty from doing so jeopardizes the future of our field. We commend faculty members like Elizabeth R. Brown and Parvez Ahmed who have spoken out about the harmful impact of these restrictions on the quality of higher education.”
The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
Statement on DEI from SRCD President Nancy E. Hill The academic communities in Florida, Virginia, and Texas are experiencing unprecedented scrutiny of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in state university systems. The recently introduced legislation in Florida (HB 999) is particularly alarming as it would ban whole fields of study. Many of our members sit in critical positions that advance equitable research and advise their universities on equitable practices and proper representation. To this end, SRCD has signed on to the ACLS letter that underscores the importance of academic freedom and will continue to lend our voice to coalitions addressing this issue. We encourage members to reach out to their state and local representatives with the following resources to advocate for the necessity of DEI programs in higher education and demand the removal of any bans on DEI instruction.
University of Rhode Island Faculty Senate
Resolution for statement of solidarity and support “We members of the faculty and administration at the University of Rhode Island are appalled by egregious political intervention into the academic programming at Florida’s public universities based upon some misguided notions about the nature of freedom of inquiry, diversity of points of view, and the overall purpose of public colleges and universities.”