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Indiana AAUP Conference Statement & Open Letter from 90 Professors

Statement from the Indiana AAUP State Conference

Since 1940, the American Association of University Professors has stood by the Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure declared in that year.  We support the statement that "Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties."   The declaration also states that "Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject."  The writings of Howard Zinn are a perfect example of material relevant for discussion in teacher education and history classes, even though these writings are also controversial.  The Indiana Conference of the American Association of University Professors condemns Mitch Daniels' efforts as Governor of Indiana to censor the use of Howard Zinn's works in a summer institute for high school teachers at Indiana University.  Although we commend his more recent reaffirmation, as President of Purdue University, of a commitment to academic freedom in higher education, we see a fundamental contradiction between this claim of support for academic freedom and his continued defense of his earlier efforts to control what teachers and professors assign in their classrooms.  We urge Daniels to declare his uncompromising support for the right of faculty to research and teach without interference from university or state administrators.

An open letter to Mitch Daniels

Dear President Daniels:

We are writing in response to the recent news reports about emails you wrote while governor of Indiana. In those emails, you criticized the historian Howard Zinn and his work, and you sought to find ways to “get rid of” Zinn’s ideas in Indiana schools.

Read the full letter at the Academe Blog.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, July 23, 2013