The “Academic Bill of Rights” movement, launched by right wing activists in

2003, has sought to legislate control over student rights, the hiring of faculty members,

and curricula. It activists claims to seek academic freedom in an academy that has been

virtually taken over by leftists aiming at indoctrinating students into their vision of the

world. Through a variety of groups, including Students for Academic Freedom, the

movement claims to base its initiatives on principles established by the American

Association of University Professors (AAUP). These efforts, which seek to bring

academia under governmental control and which seek to extend a state-dominated

version of academic freedom to all stakeholders in higher education, distort and

undermine AAUP principles. AAUP statements on academic freedom go back to 1915.

These carefully crafted statements aim at establishing the autonomy of the academic

profession and its independence from political, economic and social pressures in the

pursuit of knowledge and in teaching. The “Academic Bill of Rights Movement” uses

AAUP principles rhetorically for political purposes.

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