Here are some questions people ask frequently about membership in NAS and the work we do. Please contact us with any other questions you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:
When was NAS founded?
A: NAS was founded in 1987 by Stephen Balch and others. For several years before that the founding members had been meeting under the name Campus Coalition for Democracy.
   
Q:
What is NAS's political affiliation?
A: The NAS has no political affiliation. As NAS President Peter Wood has written: "Both the Left and the Right produce their share of intellectual obtuseness. The NAS is not a partner with either. We are not a political organization, but a body of scholars who hope to sustain a vision of the university as a fundamentally good institution that deserves to be sustained."
   
Q:
Who may join NAS?
A: NAS membership is open to all who share a commitment to its core principles. A large majority of our members are current and former faculty members. We also welcome graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, college administrators, independent scholars, as well as non-academic citizens who care about the future of higher education.
   
Q:
What are the benefits of membership in the NAS?
A: NAS members receive a subscription to our journal Academic Questions and access to a network of people who share a commitment to academic freedom and excellence.
   
Q:
Is there any risk in joining NAS?
A: For some people at some institutions, perhaps. We recognize that graduate students and untenured faculty members run a risk if they join an organization that is famous for challenging campus orthodoxies. To protect our members’ privacy NAS does not disclose members’ names without their permission.
   
Q:
How many members does NAS have?
A: NAS currently has about 3,000 active and associate members across the country.
   
Q:
How is NAS funded?
A: NAS is funded by grants from foundations, gifts from individuals, and membership dues. We also draw some support from federal research grants. NAS is a non-profit organization, and gifts we receive are tax-deductible.
   
Q:
What have others written about the NAS?
A: You can see a list of writings about the National Association of Scholars on our In the News page.