Update: Since the launch of the Alumni Free Speech Alliance on October 18, the Alliance has been contacted by alumni from over 70 colleges and universities about setting up an alumni free speech organization. Many such organizations are already being organized, and the Alliance will soon have many more members.
The Alliance brings together five alumni groups that have a focus on supporting free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity at their colleges and universities. The founding members of the Alliance are alumni groups from Cornell University, Davidson College, Princeton University, the University of Virginia, and Washington & Lee University.
Members of the Alliance believe that free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity are critical to the advancement of knowledge and to very concept of a university. Yet surveys show most students at colleges and universities have little understanding of these principles. Most students oppose free speech. See, for example, the “2021 College Free Speech Ranking” published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). https://rankings.thefire.org
On many campuses, students and faculty are attacked for exercising free speech. According to the FIRE survey, over 80 percent of students at the schools surveyed said they self-censor in the classroom, on campus, and online.
To preserve the purpose of their institutions, alumni must become involved to make the case for free speech and academic freedom and to provide support for faculty and students who speak up on their campuses.
The Alliance provides a mechanism for the exchange of information among its members on substantive and organizational issues. A priority for the Alliance is to encourage the creation of alumni free speech groups for other colleges and universities, and the Alliance will create tools to help new alumni groups organize. We believe the number of alumni groups supporting free speech on their campuses will grow.
While members of the Alliance are alumni focused, other interested parties, such as faculty and students, may also be involved. Each of the members is different in terms of its organizational structure and activities but committed to promoting free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity.
Inquires and comments may be made through the “Contact Us” feature on this website.
Listed below are the members of the Alliance, with a click through to their websites:
The members of the Alumni Free Speech Alliance encourage alumni from other colleges and universities to form their own organizations to support free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity at their institutions. Members of the Alliance are committed to providing resources and mentoring to assist with the creation of new alumni groups.
Alumni should realize that the future of their college or university could be at stake. Free speech, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity are critical parts of the foundation of every college and university. If these core values are lost, your college or university will lose its very reason for existence. Many institutions may already be reaching a breaking point.
On many campuses, opponents of free speech and academic freedom are well-organized, while defenders of these values are not. Students and faculty who support these values often feel isolated and intimidated and do not speak up, even when they may be a majority. An organized group of alumni can advocate for free speech and academic freedom and provide much needed support for such faculty and students.
Each alumni group in the Alliance has its own structure and operates differently, but we share many common elements. Each of us started with a few dedicated alumni but grew quickly, as other alumni rallied to the cause. While forming a new group can seem daunting at first, the Alliance will be able to assist alumni who want to create new free speech organizations. We urge interested alumni to contact us through this website.
|Foundation for Individual Rights in Education||thefire.org|
|Academic Freedom Alliance||academicfreedom.org|
|American Council of Trustees and Alumni||goacta.org|