AAUP-UNH Resolution Affirming Commitment to Academic Freedom in the Face of Legislative Efforts to Limit Teaching about Racism and American History
WHEREAS on June 16, 2021, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and over 100 scholarly associations and organizations issued a joint statement of “firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations, and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities”;
WHEREAS, in Article 2 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement, AAUP-UNH and the USNH Board of Trustees “recognize the essential importance of academic freedom to an institution of higher education and affirm their continuing commitment to the principles of academic freedom and its protections as provided in the AAUP Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom;
WHEREAS faculty have expertise and responsibility for the curriculum at the University of New Hampshire, in accordance with basic principles of shared governance;
WHEREAS the term “divisive” is indeterminate, subjective, and chills the capacity of educators to explore a wide variety of topics–from racial justice to evolution– based on subjective criteria that are inapposite from the goals of education and the development of essential critical thinking skills;
WHEREAS educating about systemic barriers to realizing a multiracial democracy should be understood as central to the active and engaged pursuit of knowledge in the 21st century to produce engaged and informed citizens;
WHEREAS UNH’s office of Community, Equity and Diversity affirms that “diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are foundational values inextricably linked to achieving our core educational mission”;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that AAUP-UNH stands with our colleagues, including our K-12 colleagues and librarians throughout the country, who may be affected by this pernicious legislation when they seek to teach the truth in U.S. history and civics education. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that AAUP-UNH unequivocally rejects any attempts by bodies external to the faculty to restrict or dictate university curriculum on any matter, including matters related to racial and social justice.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that AAUP-UNH calls upon President James Dean, Provost Wayne Jones and the UNH Faculty Senate to affirm that they likewise reject any attempts by bodies external to the faculty to restrict or dictate university curriculum on any matter, including matters related to racial and social justice.