The 2006 Annual Meeting approved two resolutions, the text of which appears below.
Academic Freedom and Government Restraints
In the last few years, increased restrictions that the federal government has placed on scholarly activities have presented serious challenges to academic freedom. First, in the name of national security, foreign scholars who have been appointed to faculty positions at American universities or invited to academic conferences have been denied visas on the basis of their perceived political beliefs or associations. Second, even though the administration concedes that too many government documents have been classified, it has nonetheless raised the number of classified documents to record levels and has removed previously unclassified documents from the public domain. Third, in a specific case government agents investigated a faculty member who is critical of U.S. policy toward Venezuela. Investigators questioned the content of his courses, and raised the possibility that his views had been improperly influenced by the interference of a foreign government. Agents interviewed not only the faculty member, but his students as well.
Actions such as these threaten and curtail academic freedom. They restrain scholars and teachers from pursuing truth and expressing it as they deem appropriate. This annual meeting reaffirms the views on academic freedom expressed by previous annual meetings and in reports of the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure that in these critical times the need is for more, not less, freedom of inquiry and expression. It considers the encouragement of these freedoms to be essential to our national well-being.
Jane Buck is the first president of the American Association of University Professors to have served for three two-year terms. In this service, she has advocated the Association’s principles at home and abroad. Her efforts in behalf of historically black colleges and universities, before and during her presidency, have been especially noteworthy. So also has been her defense of the rights of graduate students and contingent faculty members. In all, she has led us with patience, good humor, and a constant insistence that we wait our parliamentary turn before speaking during Association meetings. This annual meeting expresses its gratitude for her contributions, and confidently anticipates that her energy and dedication will continue to be at the service of the AAUP.