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AAUP Receives Mellon Grant for Academic Freedom Center

Dr. Irene MulveyDr. Irene MulveyThe American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has received a grant of over $1.5 million from the Mellon Foundation to examine and confront the surge of political and ideological hostilities against higher education.

The AAUP— a Washington, DC-based, nonprofit association of academic professionals led by Dr. Irene Mulvey, a professor of mathematics at Fairfield University — plans to establish the "Center for the Defense of Academic Freedom." The center expected to bring together higher education and academic freedom experts over the next two years to develop an understanding of the scope and nature of political interference in higher education.

The organization announced receipt of the grant Feb. 14. The center will be tasked with helping develop a means of countering the intrusion partly by developing a comprehensive record of the political organizations, think tanks, donors, and political operatives most responsible for the current wave of interference.

The AAUP plans to use the research to formulate a strategic campaign to fight back to protect academic freedom in America’s colleges and universities and ensure that the unrestricted search for knowledge in service of the common good remains the guiding force in American higher education. 

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