NAS Supports a Besieged Academic

National Association of Scholars

NEW YORK, NY, September 17, 2018 -- The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has circulated an open letter seeking support for Professor Rachel Fulton Brown, an associate professor of history at the University of Chicago. The letter has received 1000 signatories in its first month including more than 300 university professors, and asks the University of Chicago and the Medieval Academy of America to defend Fulton Brown from a reputational attack launched by her opponents. 
Fulton Brown is a highly regarded scholar best known for her books on medieval Christianity.  She became a target for academic radicals when she expressed opposition to an effort to make it a moral imperative for scholars to interpret medieval history as essentially a chronicle of racist oppression.  Her opponents have said little about Fulton Brown’s arguments, but instead have attacked her character, defaming her as a harasser, a racist, and a member of the "alt-right."
“NAS has a long reputation for supporting academic freedom, and this includes individual advocacy for professors that find themselves the target of slander,” said NAS President Peter Wood. “Professor Fulton Brown has shared her opinions and argued them publicly, and because of this now faces attacks on her name and reputation. The institutions of which Professor Fulton Brown is a member should step up, not to silence her foes, but to provide support against scholars who attempt to shame colleagues by ad hominem attacks.”
The National Association of Scholars frequently steps in to support academics besieged by reputational attacks, including Professors Bruce Gilley, Amy Wax, and John McAdams. NAS urges that public vindications of Professor Brown’s scholarly character be made by her department, division, and president at the University of Chicago and by the Medieval Academy of America.
Wood explained: “NAS respects the principle of university neutrality in scholarly disputes. Yet, the defamation of Professor Brown as a racist or white supremacist does not fall within the purview of a ‘scholarly dispute’. These institutions should vindicate the reputation of their members when they have been falsely accused of disgraceful and unprofessional conduct.”

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at


If you would like more information about this issue, please call Chance Layton at 917-551-6770, or email [email protected].

  • Share

Most Commented

July 12, 2023


Scott Gerber’s Case in Context

Ohio Northern University seems intent on chiseling into granite its protocol for getting rid of a faculty member who disagrees with the institution’s woke ideology, even when the......

July 19, 2023


On Collegiality

Increasingly, collegiality is being added to the traditional triad of excellence that wins professors tenure. And now, the issue of collegiality is a fraught minefield, and has become&#......

June 22, 2023


Accreditation? A Woke, Good-Cop-Bad-Cop Scam

The “diversity” bug afflicts almost all of academia; dissenters face opprobrium. But the very same mindset controls accreditors....

Most Read

April 14, 2023


Faculty Fight for Academic Freedom at Harvard

While many faculty quietly endorse views they privately disagree with, Harvard faculty band together to resist administrative overreach, overzealous students, and protect academic freedom....

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 20, 2023


How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

UPDATED: We're keeping track of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, including those that remain open, those that closed, and those that have announced their closing....