press release

PR: AAUP Purdue Stands in Support with Purdue University Senate on SB 202

For Immediate Release
February 19, 2024
Contact: Prof. Stephanie Masta, [email protected], 641-821-0017
Prof. Anish Vaniak, [email protected], 765-479-9244

AAUP Purdue Stands in Support with Purdue University Senate
West-Lafayette IN — The Purdue (West Lafayette) chapter of the American Association of University Professors applauds the decisive vote of the Purdue University Senate in passing Senate Document 23-23 opposing Indiana Senate Bill 202 on Monday, February 19, 2024. After an hour of unanimous testimony about the dangers of passing SB 202, Senators voted to suspend their normal rules to vote on the document in the same meeting it was introduced, and then overwhelmingly adopted (81 in favor, 5 in opposition, 4 formal abstentions) SD 23-23.

The University Senate therefore adopts the following statement:
“The Purdue University Senate rejects the provisions in SB 202 which grant the Board of Trustees oversight of intellectual diversity on campus. The Board of Trustees as a body is not equipped to judge matters of intellectual diversity in instruction or research. As a body
appointed by the government of the State of Indiana, its actions on matters of intellectual activity in the university would represent an improper extension of state control over matters of academic freedom. We, therefore, urge all members of the Indiana General Assembly to reject this measure. We also call on all our constituents, members of the university community and supporters of academic freedom in Indiana to actively lobby their representatives to oppose this measure.”

Prof. Anish Vanaik, co-chair of the University Senate Faculty Affairs Committee, describes Senate Bill 202 as intending to:

  1. Replace alumni council appointments to university and college Boards of Trustees with legislative political appointments;
  2. Impose a 5-year tenure review process with penalties undermining existing tenure policies;
  3. Encourage students to file complaints against faculty and courses “they find offensive and disagreeable,” which constrains freedom of speech in educational settings; and,
  4. Establish political budget regulations that threaten diversity, equity, and inclusion programs at all state universities and colleges.

Prof. Stephanie Masta, AAUP Purdue chapter president, noted the importance of strong opposition to SB202. She said, “SB202 threatens the national reputation of Purdue University and today our faculty stood against massive legislative overreach into university governance.”

Prof. Anish Vanaik underlined, “the range of disciplines and schools that spoke out today is telling. Faculty across the university are concerned about being able to research and think freely.
They’re also concerned that this law will prevent us being able to prepare students to become top tier professionals and researchers in their own right.”

AAUP Purdue stands in solidarity with the University Senate in its opposition of SB 202. On Monday February 12, the chapter released a joint statement against SB 202 with the AAUP chapter at Indiana University-Bloomington, a statement which was endorsed by the Indiana University-Bloomington Faculty Council on Tuesday February 13.

Senate Document 23-23
AAUP Purdue/IU joint statement


AAUP-Purdue, a chapter of the American Association of University Professors at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, is dedicated to improving classroom and research conditions for faculty and their students.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP), with over 50,000 members and 500 local chapters, champions academic freedom; advances shared governance; and organizes to promote economic security for all academic professionals. Since 1915, the AAUP has shaped American higher education by developing standards and procedures that uphold quality education.

PDF of this press release.