Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of over 500 higher education institutions and education associations whose collective mission is to promote academic freedom and protect threatened scholars. By arranging temporary academic positions at member colleges and universities, scholars facing grave threats can keep working until conditions improve and they can return to their home countries, protecting their ideas and academic legacy. To date, SAR has helped over 1,600 threatened scholars worldwide and is operating at a time of unprecedented need as the organization responds to the urgent requests from individual scholars, activists, and civil society leaders from Afghanistan.
“Higher education institutions in the SAR US Section have helped to shape Scholars at Risk’s response to the crisis facing Afghan scholars, especially for women in leading roles in academia and civil society, and delivered critical support to at-risk scholars from Belarus, China, Ethiopia, Yemen, and many other countries,” said Executive Director of SAR, Robert Quinn. “[Provost] Anne McCall is a consistent and powerful voice for scholars, students, and academic freedom, and we are thrilled to work with her in her new role as chair of the SAR US Section to grow US membership, raise the profile of threats to academic freedom, at home and abroad, and deliver life-and career-saving assistance to threatened colleagues.”
As chair, Dr. McCall is committed to physical, intellectual, and collective freedoms and equity with a special interest in migrations. She has been active in Scholars at Risk for the past decade and has served as a member of the steering committee for the US Section since it was established two years ago.
“During my time as a member, I’ve become ever more impressed by the role that SAR plays around the world in protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom and appreciative of the way it aligns with our purpose at Xavier University, which is to contribute to the creation of a more just and humane society. I look forward to beginning my work as chair and to serving this important organization,” said Dr. McCall.
SAR also provides advisory services for scholars and hosts, campaigns for scholars who are imprisoned or silenced in their home countries, monitoring of attacks on higher education communities worldwide, and leadership in deploying new tools and strategies for promoting academic freedom and improving respect for university values everywhere. A central component of the network in fulfilling its mission depends on the organizing structure of national and regional coordinating bodies for SAR-related activities, referred to as SAR Sections.
There are SAR sections in the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece (launching October 2021), Ireland, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland, in addition to sections formed alongside partners in the United Kingdom with CARA (the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics), and in Belgium and the Netherlands with UAF (the Foundation for Refugee Students). The SAR United States Section was formed in 2018 and comprises roughly 150 institutions and organizations. The US Section is represented by a steering committee of dedicated individuals at SAR member institutions that serve as an advisory group on institutional, regional, and national priorities for SAR programmatic engagement and activities, including hosting threatened scholars. A map of SAR member institutions in the United States can be viewed here.
Prior to her current appointment as Provost at Xavier University of Louisiana, Dr. McCall held faculty administrative positions at Binghamton University (SUNY), where she was Dean of the Harpur College of Arts and Sciences from 2013-2016, and the University of Denver, where she served as Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences from 2008-2013. McCall’s faculty and early administrative career took place largely at Tulane University, where she worked from 1991-2008, teaching French and Women’s Studies and holding positions of program director and Associate Dean.
Dr. Anne McCall is committed to equity and physical, intellectual, and collective freedoms and has a special interest in migrations. She has been active in Scholars at Risk for the past decade and has served as a member of the Steering Committee for the US Section.