National Association of Scholars Releases New Resource for Academic Freedom

National Association of Scholars

The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has just released the first ready reference for academic freedom. Rioting students and illiberal ideologues have imposed ever-deeper intellectual conformity on American campuses in the last few years. Freedom-loving Americans, liberal and conservative alike, have begun to work to formulate new doctrines of academic freedom, so as to fend off these new threats. NAS has already joined in this effort by publishing a long statement on the nature of academic freedom, Peter Wood’s The Architecture of Intellectual Freedom (2016). NAS continues this work by publishing a ready reference to the history of academic freedom—David Randall’s Charting Academic Freedom (2018).

Charting Academic Freedom compares fourteen published statements on academic freedom in twenty-five categories. The oldest of the statements is the 1915 Declaration of Principles from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The newest is the April 29, 2017 Statement of Principles: Free Expression on Campuses issued by Students for Free Expression. Charting enables the reader at a glance to see who wrote the statement and why; who endorsed it; what key arguments it presents; and where it is meant to apply.

In addition, Charting includes

(1) an annotated Timeline of Academic Freedom, with notable events such as Supreme Court decisions and riots;

(2) a list of significant Other Resources by organizations such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the Heterodox Academy; and

(3) a Select Bibliography.

Charting Academic Freedom provides the first ready reference to the last century's statements, legal decisions, events, and scholarly works on academic freedom. The NAS offers Charting so Americans may know in one useful digest what principles underlie academic freedom--and use those principles in the deepening struggle to defend that freedom against the new threats to academic freedom.

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, said, “Every American ought to carry a compact Constitution in his pocket, to keep America free by easy reference to his country’s traditions and principles of freedom. We hope Charting American Freedom will serve likewise, as a digest of the principles that underlie intellectual freedom.”

For more information about this report, contact David Randall, NAS Director of Research and author of Charting Academic Freedom. You may reach him at [email protected] or at (917) 551-6770.

For other inquiries, please contact Keli Carender, NAS Director of Communications. You may reach her at [email protected]


Image Credit: Public Domain

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