(This statement is inspired by and draws text from the work of the African American Policy Forum , and a version drafted by senate colleagues at Ball State University .)
In the summer of 2021, Republican politicians began proposing legislation against “divisive concepts” and critical race theory. Bills have passed in at least fourteen states and are pending in at least ten others . The attempt to use the state to restrict teaching and research about race and racism is, in fact, “worse than McCarthyism,” scholar Ellen Schrecker wrote , because “the red scare of the 1950s marginalized dissent and chilled the nation’s campuses, but it did not interfere with such matters as curriculum or classroom teaching.”
Academics failed to come together to mount a strong defense of academic freedom in the 1950s. We can do better today. Whether these bills are currently being proposed in Indiana or not, we believe that Senates everywhere must speak up against them and in defense of academic freedom.
The Purdue Policy 1.A.4 (“Academic Freedom”)  affirms Purdue University’s position that “[f]aculty, lecturers, instructors, researchers and students have full freedom as researchers, scholars and artists, and are assured freedom to communicate their work, to advocate solutions to human problems and to criticize existing institutions” and “[f]aculty, lecturers and instructors have freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject matter’.
Faculty have responsibility for the curriculum at their universities, as stated in American Association of University Professors’ 1940 statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure  and in section A.4.05 of the Purdue University Code, a section “which has never been rescinded, so remains in full force and effect.” 
Educating about systemic barriers to realizing a multiracial democracy based on race or gender should be understood as central to the active and engaged pursuit of knowledge in the 21st century to produce engaged and informed citizens.
Over seventy organizations, including the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), issued the Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism and American History  stating their “firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations, and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities . . . In higher education, under principles of academic freedom that have been widely endorsed, professors are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject. Educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning”.
Purdue University claims that “We are a unified community that respects each other by embracing diversity, promoting inclusion, and encouraging freedom of thought and speech.”  Our stated pillars are integrity, respect, honor, inclusion, innovation, and growth  and Purdue’s Statement of Integrity and Code of Conduct  states we will “safeguard academic freedom, open inquiry, and debate in the best interests of education, enrichment, and our personal and professional development”.
As a Land Grant university initiated with funds dedicated by the Morrill Act of 1862, Purdue University is the direct beneficiary of lands stolen from Indigenous people and sold to help fund the founding of the University. 
In a nation that has for centuries struggled with issues of racial inequity and injustice, many students do not have adequate knowledge of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer +) history and the policies that contributed to inequities, Purdue University has a responsibility and opportunity to help build equity and social justice.
The Purdue chapter of AAUP resolutely rejects any attempts by bodies external to the faculty to restrict or dictate university curriculum on any matter, including matters related to racial and social justice, and will stand firm against encroachment on faculty authority by the state legislature or any other body.
AAUP-Purdue sides with our K-12 colleagues in Indiana and throughout the country who may be affected by this pernicious legislation when they seek to teach the truth in U.S. history and civics education (such as as SB 167, HB 1040 and HB 1134, introduced in the current legislative session  although SB 167 has now been pulled).
AAUP-Purdue calls upon President Daniels and Provost Akridge to affirm that they reject any attempts by bodies external to the faculty to restrict or dictate university curriculum on any matter, including matters related to racial and social justice, and will stand firm against encroachment on faculty authority by the state legislature.
AAUP-Purdue affirms the Joint Statement on Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism , authored by the AAUP, PEN America, the American Historical Association, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, endorsed by over seventy organizations, and issued on June 16, 2021.
Passed as a chapter statement on January 24, 2022. Chapter statements must be passed by at least 50% of the membership.
- African American Policy Forum Senate Legislation
- Ball State University legislation
- African American Policy Forum legislation tracker
- “Yes, These Bills Are the New McCarthyism,” Ellen Schrecker, Academe Blog, September 12, 2021
- Purdue Policy 1.A.4 (“Academic Freedom”)
- “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” American Association of University Professors
- Senate FAQ on the University Code
- “Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism and American History” AAUP, PEN America, the American Historical Association, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, June 16, 2021.
- Purdue statement of values and pillars
- Purdue statement of integrity and code of conduct
- Land Grab University, a project of High Country News
- Indiana legislation introduced in the 2022 session: