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APA Announcement from the
Committee for the Defense of Professional Rights of Philosophers

Philosophers on a number of public and private university campuses have become targets of a nationally funded and well-organized campaign to achieve what is seen as political balance and the reduction of liberal bias. Supporters propose the establishment of government oversight of curricula, teaching, hiring, and promotion, through Academic Bill of Rights legislation introduced in several states and the U.S. Congress. The APA Committee for the Defense of Professional Rights of Philosophers is also concerned about recent incidents that have employed harassment and defamation of character to express opposition to the alleged political views of professors of philosophy and other professors. Such incidents include students' disrupting instruction (e.g., by posting unauthorized "class cancelled" signs) and publicly labeling faculty members "communists" or "terrorist sympathizers." Because such actions have a chilling effect on academic freedom, they have been reported to the committee, which urges all APA members to inform themselves about such egregious actions. It also urges them to study the implications of the "Academic Bill of Rights" campaign for the exercise of academic freedom. Further information, specific advice, and links appear on the committee's website.

Debra Nails, Chair
APA Committee for the Defense of Professional Rights of Philosophers
Michigan State University