Modern Language Association

MLA Advocacy Alert

8 February 2023 •  join the mla to protect academic freedom

Stand with Us

Dear Colleague,

In the last several months, we’ve seen a disturbing new effort to take control of education away from educators. From the appalling takeover of the New College of Florida to the College Board’s decision to revise the content of its Advanced Placement African American Studies course, these actions represent a grievous threat to academic freedom and shared governance.

These encroachments are related to the work of the humanities in promoting liberal learning and critical thinking, especially critical thinking about race. I’m writing to ask you to join the MLA in fighting back against this alarming trend. The MLA has written to the Florida Commissioner of Education in protest of the overhaul of New College, and I encourage you to read through the MLA’s professional standards on academic freedom and shared governance, including the MLA Statement on Academic Freedom (2014), Tool Kit on Academic Freedom, and Tool Kit on Shared Governance.

We urge you to use the standards and guidelines of the profession to shore up shared governance on your own campus and to ensure that faculty members and administrators work together to maintain academic freedom and build equitable practices both on your campus and across higher education.

Thank you for your help in this fight.


Paula M. Krebs
Executive Director

MLA Advocacy Webinars

The MLA offers a range of free webinar programming, including recent conversations about fighting back against educational gag orders and about resisting “the Great Untenuring.” Visit our webinars site to view these and other recordings.