With year-end approaching, I want to acknowledge the hard work of everyone involved in the SAR network. Thanks to you, last year we helped to arrange more positions for scholars than any other year in our history–320 by the SAR staff directly and 880+ by network members. These and other highlights can be found in our 2022-23 Annual Report.
I also want to acknowledge that many in our network are hurting. The ongoing crises in Ukraine, Sudan, Yemen and elsewhere, and especially the violence of Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7th and of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in response, have strained our energies, compassion, and resources, and precipitated a disturbing breakdown in civil discourse on many campuses.
We are hurting, but now is not the time to shrink. Rather, we must draw on our 20+ years of experience responding to crises, and must continue to help as many at-risk scholars as we can. We must continue to document attacks in our regular media review and monitoring, and in our annual Free to Think reports. We must continue to push back against violence and threats directed at members of our campus communities, whether in-person or online (including threats of death and sexual violence), against intimidation and harassment (including “doxing” and “trolling”), against vilification on grounds of belief, race, gender, identity, or political or social group, and against executive, legislative, and even institutional actions that threaten academic freedom and institutional autonomy.
Toward this end, we share below our “Promoting Higher Education Values” discussion guide. First issued in 2017-18, the guide offers frameworks and tools for responding constructively to values-related incidents. We hope it might be helpful to you and your campus in navigating this moment, and in building cultures and practices which strengthen your institution for the long term.
We also invite you to join us for SAR’s 2024 Global Congress, which will be held from June 25-27, 2024 in Vilnius, Lithuania, in partnership with the European Humanities University. The first in-person Congress since the pandemic, it will provide an opportunity to explore these challenges and to develop new responses together. Registration is now open– I hope to see you there.
— Rob Quinn, SAR Executive Director
Scholars at Risk is pleased to share our December 2023 newsletter below.