A Guide to Organizing Conversations about Turning Point

Quickly introduce yourself.

Hi! I’m a member of the AAUP on campus and I’m touching base with all the folks in our department about recent targeted attacks on faculty and how we can prevent this. Have a couple minutes?

[If yes, continue below. If not available, ask if there’s a good time to talk later in the week.]

Make sure your colleague is informed.

Great! As you may know, the right-wing organization Turning Point USA has been targeting faculty on campuses across the country with their Professor Watchlist. Are you familiar with Turning Point and the Professor Watchlist?

[If yes, continue with a few of the sample questions below. If no, briefly in one or two sentences fill them in about Turning Point and the Professor Watchlist. The primer in this toolkit has good information to share.]

Ask questions that will lead your colleague to take action.

Glad you're aware of this issue! Many of us in the AAUP are also concerned and are following it closely.

  • What most concerns you about the Professor Watchlist’s targeting of faculty?
  • How would you like to see Turning Point addressed on campus?
  • What kinds of feedback from your colleagues have you gotten about Turning Point or its Professor Watchlist?
  • What other faculty groups do you work with? What are their concerns?
  • What kinds of feedback from students have you gotten about Turning Point?
  • What students groups do you work with?

Make an ask.

  • A few of us are meeting for lunch on Thursday to discuss what we can do in more detail. Are you able to join?
  • The AAUP chapter is having a meeting next Tuesday evening to discuss this issue and what we can do to protect ourselves and our students. Are you able to come? Do you think any of your colleagues might be interested in stopping by, too?
  • Do you think some of your other colleagues would be interested in learning more about this issue?
  • Would you be willing to talk to a few folks in your department about this? I have a few one-page handouts I can leave with you to share.
  • We’re planning to table in the cafeteria next Wednesday from noon—2 p.m. Would you be free to help out for an hour and educate other folks about the issue?
  • We’re organizing a teach-in with some of our students about this issue. Are you interested in helping organize with us? Know any student groups that would be interested in participating?