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Urgent action on SB 202: What you can do

SB 202 is dangerous legislation that will dramatically change state universities in Indiana: it will undermine tenure; chill freedom of speech and academic freedom on campus for both conservatives and liberals, for faculty, staff, and students, and for everyone in between; defund important DEI initiatives; and change the composition of Boards of Trustees and who appoints them. 

The bill passed the Indiana Senate with almost no discussion. 

The bill is currently taken up by the House Education Committee. Many of your colleagues statewide went to Indianapolis on Valentine‚Äôs Day to testify (as individuals, not as representatives of their institutions) against the bill; this testimony was powerful and substantial, pushing the already long committee meeting from 5 hours into 8 hours with no break, finishing at 6:30 pm. 

While Indiana University, Ball State, and Ivy Tech sent representatives to oppose SB 202 entirely or in part, Purdue sent no representative on our behalf.  

The Committee will take up the bill again at their next meeting on Wednesday February 21 at 10:30 am, when they will vote on amendments to the bill and vote on whether to send it to the Indiana House for a full vote. They will not be accepting public testimony on Wednesday. This is our best opportunity to persuade the Committee to vote no on the bill. Failing that, we will work to run out the clock, or give the committee justification to water down the worst provisions in the bill, or to send it a study committee.

Higher education in Indiana needs all hands on deck, including yours. 

Please:

  1. By Monday noon: Ask your University Senator to vote in favor of Senate Document 23-23, which opposes SB 202.  The University Senate will discuss SD 23-23 at 2:30 on Monday. Senates at IU-Bloomington, IU-South Bend, Purdue-Fort Wayne, Purdue Northwest, Ball State, and Indiana State have all already passed statements opposing SB 202;
  2. By Tuesday 5 pm: Call legislators during a 15 min window to tie up their phone lines (instructions here);
  3. By Tuesday 8 pm (especially if you live in or near Indy): Sign up to go to the Statehouse on Wednesday for a silent protest (at what we expect to be a much shorter shorter hearing), and only if there are at least 29 other people to go with;
  4. By Wednesday 8 am: Send a letter to the House Education committee members asking them to vote no: use our template wholesale, modify it, or write your own letter from scratch;
  5. Join the statewide organizing group with colleagues from all the Purdue campuses, IU-Bloomington, South Bend, Indianapolis, Ball State University, and Indiana State University;
  6. Join your local AAUP chapter – we are stronger working on behalf of all faculty when our numbers are bigger.

To catch up on what’s been happening, you can review our resource page with links to the bill, the timeline, AAUP chapter statements across the state (including our joint statement with AAUP-IU Bloomington), the list of faculty senates at public universities across the state that have passed statements against SB 202, and press coverage.

Please contact us at [email protected] with questions.