Statement of the Executive Committees the AAUP chapters in Bloomington, Richmond, and South Bend

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian on July 8, 2024 by the AAUP:

Statement of the Executive Committees the AAUP chapters in Bloomington, Richmond, and South Bend

We call on the IU Board of Trustees to withdraw the demand that “stakeholder groups” provide feedback within three weeks on the lengthy, complex, and burdensome draft of new policy governing “expressive activity.” This is an unreasonably brief amount of time to carefully deliberate and design new policy, particularly during the summer when faculty and students are dispersed and faculty are devoting time to their research programs. General Counsel explains this compressed and ill-timed deadline only by asserting that the IU Board of Trustees has dictated it.

Expressive activity lies at the core of the practice of academic freedom central to American university culture and IU tradition. Although the proposed policy ostensibly claims to reflect a commitment to defending free speech rights, many of its provisions appear to undermine that claim. No policy adopted under the rushed, opaque, and arbitrary procedure the General Counsel proposes will be credible.

We urge that consideration of new policy on expressive activity be extended through the Fall term and include appropriate public deliberations by established staff, student, and faculty governance bodies on all IU campuses, in keeping with IU’s long tradition of transparent shared governance. In light of lawsuits that have followed recent administrative attempts to alter policies on expressive activity in an abrupt and ad hoc manner, we also urge the Board to reach out specifically to IU faculty members at the Maurer and McKinney Schools who have the necessary expertise in First Amendment law.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), with over 50,000 members and 500 local chapters, champions academic freedom; advances shared governance; and organizes to promote economic security for all academic professionals. Since 1915, the AAUP has shaped American higher education by developing standards and procedures that uphold quality education.

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