The board of officers of the American Philosophical Association today sent a letter to the president and board of trustees of Mount St. Mary’s University in response to the university’s recent firing of two faculty members, including one with tenure, and removal of others from positions in the administration. The letter reads as follows:
Dear President Simon Newman and Members of the Board of Trustees:
The APA board of officers is deeply troubled by reports that two Mount St. Mary’s University faculty, including tenured philosophy professor Thane Naberhaus, have been fired, and at least one other philosophy professor has been removed from his position in the university administration, following their expressions of concern about President Simon Newman’s plan to cull students.
The firing and removal of these faculty members without due process—and doing so for their exercise of freedom of expression—raises serious concerns about respect for the principles of academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance at Mount St. Mary’s University and harms not only the individual faculty members involved, but the entire Mount St. Mary’s community and beyond by chilling speech and undermining public discourse.
We call on President Newman and the entire administration of Mount St. Mary’s University to, first, take swift action to ensure that all university faculty, including those fired in recent days, receive the full protections of academic freedom and due process required under AAUP guidelines, and, second, promote the free and open debate that is a hallmark of higher education.
Cheshire Calhoun, Chair
Amy Ferrer, Executive Director
for the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association