American Sociological Association

Resources for Faculty Members Following the 2016 Elections

December 2016

Campus Resources

College and university faculty members who believe they have knowledge of campus or institutional incidents of harassment, intimidation, or hate crime should contact the appropriate local law enforcement authorities, as well as the appropriate academic offices. At some public institutions, contact with the state attorney general’s office may be appropriate.

Students with questions regarding immigration status should be directed to the cognizant campus office for international students or student services. Many campuses are considering a “sanctuary campus” designation where local officials pledge to limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agencies.

Students who are concerned about harassment or intimidation should be directed to the appropriate offices of diversity, equity, inclusion, or student support. On some campuses there may be specific resource centers for members of particular groups.

Faculty members with concerns about coping with stress should inquire about the availability of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that might provide referrals for appropriate services. If an EAP program is not available, you should be able to make a confidential inquiry through your institution’s human resources office.

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is the preeminent organization dedicated to defending academic freedom for college and university teachers and researchers across disciplines. The AAUP has policy resources available on a wide variety of issues; of particular note may be:

  • The AAUP maintains a set of policies related to due process in faculty employment, as the basic protection for academic freedom. These are outlined in the resource page “Protecting Academic Freedom.”
  • The updated statement “Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications” (2013), which includes new sections on the implications of social media for academic freedom and on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed against faculty members by individuals or groups outside the college or university.
  • The statement “Freedom in the Classroom” (2007). The online version is available to AAUP members only. It is one of many documents collected in Policy Documents and Reports (11th edition, 2015), also known as the “Redbook,” which may be available in a college or university library.
  • Faculty members who feel their academic freedom has been violated, whether through an employment action or by other means, may call on the AAUP for assistance, although the AAUP staff receives far more inquiries than it can investigate. See the overview of procedures on the AAUP website.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting civil rights, promoting tolerance in the classroom, and investigating hate groups in the United States.

  • The SPLC has compiled incidents of harassment and intimidation since the 2016 elections in a report and is also collecting reports of further incidents. You can report an incident of hateful intimidation or harassment to SPLC (after contacting the appropriate law enforcement authorities) at https://www.splcenter.org/reporthate (Updated 12/16/16 to reflect an updated SPLC report.)
  • The SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project is primarily aimed at K-12 educators, but some resources may be adaptable for college classrooms.

Other Resources

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights & Law Program

Electronic Frontier Foundation

National Coalition Against Censorship

Union of Concerned Scientists