Resolution in Support of Academic Freedom

WHEREAS, academic institutions provide a forum for the robust exchange of a diversity of ideas; and

WHEREAS, libraries in academic institutions guarantee that a wide array of ideas that promote academic discourse are available; and

WHEREAS, academic institutions have in place longstanding representative democratic structures for review and redress of grievances; and

WHEREAS, most academic institutions follow the 1940 American Association of University Professors (AAUP) “ Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” and their libraries follow the “ Freedom to Read Statement,” the “ Library Bill of Rights,” the “ Code of Professional Ethics for Librarians,” and the “ Core Values of Librarianship” that are consonant with the 1940 AAUP statement; and 

WHEREAS, these statements are effective safeguards of academic freedom and embrace the free expression rights and responsibilities laid out in the First Amendment; and

WHEREAS, an “ Academic Bill of Rights” (ABOR) by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, a self-described conservative nonprofit organization, is being introduced in legislatures and academic institutions; and

WHEREAS, this “Academic Bill of Rights” would impose extra-academic standards on academic institutions, directly interfering in course content, the classroom, the research process, and hiring and tenure decisions; and

WHEREAS, this “Academic Bill of Rights” applies principles other than relevant scholarly standards, as interpreted and applied by the academic profession; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association reaffirms the principles of academic freedom embodied in the American Association of University Professors’ “Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” (1940); and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association opposes any legislation or codification of documents like the “Academic Bill of Rights” (ABOR) that undermine academic and intellectual freedom, chill free speech, and/or otherwise interfere with the academic community’s well-established norms and values of scholarship and educational excellence.


Adopted by the ALA Council
January 25, 2006
San Antonio, TX