Letter to Augsburg University President Regarding Phillip Adamo

The AAUP’s Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance sent a letter to the president of Augsburg University after the university suspended Phillip Adamo over his use of a quoted passage from a book by James Baldwin, which used the n-word. The AAUP raised the concern that Adamo’s suspension was a violation of his academic freedom, as it appears to have been primarily based on classroom speech that was clearly protected by principles of academic freedom. The AAUP also raised concerns that the suspension also violates Association-supported procedural standards that are explicitly incorporated into Augsburg University’s faculty handbook.

From the AAUP’s letter:

Professor Adamo’s public suspension raises concerns about its impact on the climate for academic freedom at Augsburg University generally. The Association has long regarded suspension as a particularly serious adverse personnel action. In the words of the report of an AAUP investigative committee, “[b]arring a teacher from his classroom inflicts ignominy upon the teacher and is destructive to the morale of the academic community.” When such action is summarily taken for reasons that implicate principles of academic freedom, it is likely to have a chilling effect on others who teach at the institution. 

Click here to download the full letter to Augsburg University

Publication Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2019