AAUP President Condemns Student Arrests

Today, AAUP president Dr. Irene Mulvey released the following statement:

The AAUP condemns in the strongest possible terms the crackdown on peaceful dissent occuring this week at Columbia, NYU, and other universities nationwide. The arrests of students and faculty are a disproportionate and wrong-headed response to overwhelmingly peaceful campus events. Higher education is premised on full and free discussion and debate of all ideas. Summoning armed police officers in order to silence debate and suppress speech that poses no genuine threat to campus safety is a danger to democracy. The evictions and campus lockdowns are equally wrong-headed and an escalation of the crisis of repression currently plaguing US higher education.

By capitulating to ongoing congressional pressure instead of providing a full-throated defense of academic freedom, university presidents have failed in their duty to protect the autonomy of academic and intellectual life from outside interference. By asserting that peaceful protesters are “trespassing,” the administration gives credence to controversial definitions of antisemitism that are, as the AAUP cautioned in 2022, overly expansive and a threat to academic freedom. Peaceful campus protests should never be met with censorship and jail time. Our goal should be a robust exchange of ideas, open dialogue, and communication in service of knowledge and understanding for the public good.

We stand in solidarity with our AAUP chapters and members standing up for academic freedom and the free speech and associational rights of students and faculty.

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, April 24, 2024