New Fellows Announced for the Center for the Defense of Academic Freedom

Today, the AAUP’s newly created Center for the Defense of Academic Freedom announced the appointment of fifteen fellows who will examine the evolving threats to academic freedom and institutional autonomy in American higher education over the next two years. 

In March, the AAUP appointed Isaac Kamola, associate professor of political science at Trinity College, to direct the center. In this capacity Isaac wrote and released a white paper, Manufacturing Backlash, detailing the legislative attacks on academic freedom during the 2021, 2022, and 2023 legislative cycles.

The AAUP has also hired Allison Puglia as program coordinator for the center. Allison has extensive experience working for nonprofit organizations and teaches nonprofit stewardship at SUNY Old Westbury. 

The fifteen fellows appointed to the center include:

  • Timothy R. Cain is professor in the University of Georgia’s Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education and the author of Establishing Academic Freedom and Campus Unions.
  • Sumi Cho is the director of strategic initiatives at the African American Policy Forum. Prior to joining AAPF, she served as a law professor teaching courses on critical race theory; intersectionality; and race, racism, and US law.
  • Eve Darian-Smith is professor and chair of the Department of Global Studies and International Studies at the University of California, Irvine and the author of Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis and Policing the Mind: The Antidemocratic Attack on Scholars and Why It Matters (forthcoming). 
  • Mary Anne Franks is the Eugene L. and Barbara A. Bernard Professor in Intellectual Property, Technology, and Civil Rights Law at George Washington Law School and author of The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech and Fearless Speech (forthcoming).
  • Sandy Grande is professor of political science and Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Connecticut and the author of Red Pedagogy: Native American Social and Political Thought.
  • Eli Meyerhoff is a visiting scholar and program coordinator in the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University and the author of Beyond Education: Radical Studying for Another World.
  • Liz Montegary is associate professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Stony Brook University and the author of Familiar Perversions: The Racial, Sexual, and Economic Politics of LGBT Families.
  • Nancy MacLean is the William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.
  • Demetri L. Morgan plans to join the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan in fall 2024. His research and teaching focus on the role of higher education in a diverse democracy.
  • Donald Moynihan is the McCourt Chair at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. His research seeks to improve how government works. 
  • Naomi Oreskes is the Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science and affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University and coauthor of Merchants of Doubt and The Big Myth: How American Business Taught Us to Loathe Government and Love the Free Market, with Erik Conway.
  • Vineeta Singh teaches in the interdisciplinary studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is part of the sixty-two percent of instructional employees who are non-tenure-track faculty hired on yearly contracts. Her teaching and research are grounded in critical and abolitionist university studies.
  • Barrett Taylor is professor and coordinator of the higher education program at the University of North Texas and the author of Wrecked: Deinstitutionalization and Partial Defenses in State Higher Education Policy.
  • John Warner has been blogging about higher education at Inside Higher Ed for over a decade and writes about books and reading culture at the Chicago Tribune. He is the author of Why They Can’t Write: Killing the Five-Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities and Sustainable. Resilient. Free.: The Future of Public Higher Education.
  • Joy Ann Williamson-Lott is dean of the graduate school and professor of social and cultural foundations in the College of Education at the University of Washington and the author of Jim Crow Campus: Higher Education and the Struggle for a New Southern Social Order

Full biographies of the fellows can be found here

Please feel free to contact: Isaac Kamola ([email protected]) or Allison Puglia ([email protected]) for additional information.

Publication Date: 
Monday, June 10, 2024