The Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) is pleased to join the Coalition for Academic Freedom in the Americas (CAFA) in organizing this online event.
Countries around the world are suffering declines in respect for academic freedom, according to the Academic Freedom Index (AFi), a tool co-developed by the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), the V-Dem Institute, and Scholars at Risk (SAR). These concerning declines in respect for academic freedom have occurred in the United States, where state lawmakers have sought to restrict university discourse in part through legislation that restricts higher education institutions from teaching or hosting discussions of so-called “divisive concepts.” Such laws raise serious academic freedom and institutional autonomy concerns, notably that they directly interfere in academic conduct and will likely have a severe chilling effect on curriculum development and classroom discussions on a range of topics. Join us for a discussion on responding to attacks on academic freedom in the United States, and for lessons learned from other, similar contexts, including Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.
Jesse Levine | Moderator
Jesse Levine is Senior Advocacy Officer at Scholars at Risk. Mr. Levine manages the work of SAR’s Academic Freedom Advocacy Team initiative, including the development of research and advocacy projects focusing on discrete academic freedom concerns. He is an experienced US litigator and has a wide range of human rights experience including, most recently, as associate counsel at Human Rights Watch. He holds a JD from Fordham University Law School and a BA from University of Michigan.
András L. Pap
András L. Pap is Research Professor and Head of Department for Constitutional and Administrative Law at the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (formerly Hungarian Academy of Sciences) Centre for Social Sciences Institute for Legal Studies. He is also Professor of Law at the Institute of Business Economics at Eötvös University (ELTE) in Budapest, as well as Adjunct (Recurrent Visiting) Professor in the Nationalism Studies Program at the Central European University (CEU) in Vienna. He worked as rapporteur, consultant, senior expert, project manager and lead researcher in various project commissioned by the European Union, the Council of Europe and the UN. He served as expert witness for courts in the UK and the US and habitually works with international NGO’s and think tanks. He is a member of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. In 2018 he founded the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) Research Group on identity, race and ethnicity in constitutional law.
Andrew Gothard earned his BA and MA in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, then completed his Ph.D. in working-class literature at the University of Miami in 2017. During that time, he worked as a GTA, adjunct instructor, and full-time faculty member at the state university, private university, community college, and high school levels. Since 2017, he has been employed as an English Instructor at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. As UFF President, Andrew has prioritized the diverse and growing needs of UFF’s local chapters to build real grassroots power in Florida through a shared sense of solidarity and purpose, all to make lasting change for the better in Florida’s higher education system, one member at a time. He has been on the frontlines of the fight for academic freedom in Florida, including leading efforts to sue the state over Florida’s Viewpoint Discrimination Law, testifying before the legislature against partisan attacks on the higher education system, engaging with the press to establish the public good of public education, and coordinating the efforts of local, state, national, and international leaders for the benefit of all Florida educators.
Anne McCall currently is Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana, where she is a professor in the Department of Languages. Dr. McCall was recently named the 13th President of The College of Wooster in Ohio. Since joining Xavier in 2016, Dr. McCall has collaborated with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community organizations to create and implement a new core curriculum and nearly two dozen new graduate and undergraduate degree programs in areas of growing student interest, emerging knowledge, and professional opportunities. She has also supported the Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit; inter-university pipeline programs and partnerships, including international partnerships; and a major collaboration with southeast Louisiana’s largest health system. Dr. McCall is committed to nurturing an environment conducive to global learning, and dedicates herself to equity and physical, intellectual, and collective freedom in the U.S. and around the world. As the current Chair of the Steering Committee for the U.S. section of Scholars at Risk, Dr. McCall works to support academic freedom and university values around the world by supporting persecuted scholars seeking placements, advocating for the freedom of jailed scholars and practitioners, and promoting more broadly the freedom to think.