Resisting the Harassment of Faculty

Colleges and universities today are operating in a hostile environment. Faculty and others working in fields characterized by critical thinking and the dissemination of knowledge--such as scientists and journalists--are under attack. Since the 2016 elections, we have seen the partisan suppression of scientific research, proliferation of "alternative facts," open threats to cut public funding to campuses that offer certain courses or claim sanctuary status, targeted harassment of faculty online and on campus, and attacks on faculty speech. 

The AAUP works toward a reality in which institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good. We believe that faculty play an important role in a free society and that academic freedom requires and supports a democracy that thrives on dissent, critical inquiry, free speech, and free research. 

Here are some things we've been working on and things you can do.

Professor Watchlist

When we learned about the Professor Watchlist, a website that purports to expose faculty who “advance leftist propaganda in the classroom,” the AAUP shared an open letter inviting faculty and supporters to add their names to the list. Thousands signed in the first hours, and support continues to grow. This groundswell of support for colleagues targeted by the Watchlist sends a powerful message that such efforts to harass and intimidate faculty are unacceptable. 

Add your name to the list

Read about the experiences of those who have been targeted on the Academe Blog: Matthew Boedy | Beth Lueck

Monitoring Harassment of Faculty

We have received reports from faculty members about experiences of targeted harassment and intimidation and are continuing to monitor the situation. If you have been targeted as a result of something you have said in your classroom, in your publications, or outside work (on social media for example), we want to hear from you!

Submit your information here

Recommendations on Targeted Online Harassment of Faculty

This brief 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.

Read the statement

FAQs for Faculty After the 2016 Election

Uncertain about your rights when it comes to discussing politics in or out of the classroom? The AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers have prepared this document to address frequently asked questions about discussing the 2016 election in the classroom, responding to intimidation and threats, supporting the establishment of “sanctuary campuses,” and other issues.

Read the FAQs

Taking a Stand Against Harassment

The AAUP, AFT, and AAC&U call on college and university presidents, members of governing boards, and other academic leaders to resist a campaign of harassment by endorsing this statement and making clear to all in their respective institutions that threats to individual members of the academic community, to academic freedom, and to freedom of expression on campus will not be tolerated.

Download the statement