SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: May 04, 2023

Attack Types: Loss of Position

Institution(s):Taylor University

Region & Country:Americas | United States of America

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On May 4, 2023, Julie Moore, an associate professor of English at Taylor University and the director of the Writing Center, reported that her contract would not be renewed, a decision apparently made because of Moore’s teaching, which included content about racial and social justice issues.

Moore had been teaching at Taylor University in a term position, subject to annual renewal. According to Moore, Taylor University Provost Jewerl Maxwell had told her that students had complained about some of the assigned readings related to racial justice in Moore’s classes. Of particular concern was work by Jemar Tisby discussing the interconnectedness of Christianity and racism. Prior to the decision not to renew her contract, Moore’s colleagues had given her positive performance reviews and their support for contract renewal.

Following the decision, more than 900 members of the Taylor University community signed an open letter condemning the decision not to reappoint Moore, and calling for the university administration to apologize and reinstate her. Over 3,000 people signed a Change.org petition created by anonymous Taylor University students, similarly, calling for the university administration to reverse the reappointment decision.

Scholars at Risk is concerned by the denial of an otherwise meritorious appointment to a professor in apparent retaliation for the content of their teaching. Higher education authorities should refrain from such disciplinary actions on apparently political grounds and uphold strong due process standards for faculty. In addition to the harm to the immediate victims, denial stemming from such activity undermines academic freedom and democratic society generally.

Sources:
https://www.axios.com/local/indianapolis/2023/05/04/taylor-university-julie-moore-christian-college
https://www.theechonews.com/article/2023/05/taylor-responds-to-moore-letter
https://religionnews.com/2023/05/03/taylor-english-professor-julie-moore-cited-jemar-tisby-on-her-syllabus-then-she-lost-her-job/

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El 4 de mayo de 2023, Julie Moore, profesora asociada de inglés en la Universidad Taylor y directora del Centro de Escritura, comunicó que su contrato no sería renovado, una decisión aparentemente tomada a causa de la docencia de Moore, que incluía contenidos sobre cuestiones raciales y de justicia social.

Moore había estado enseñando en la Universidad Taylor en un puesto temporal, sujeto a renovación anual. Según Moore, Jewerl Maxwell, rector de la Universidad Taylor, le había comunicado que los estudiantes se habían quejado de algunas de las lecturas asignadas a Moores en relación con la justicia racial. Preocupaba especialmente el trabajo de Jemar Tisby sobre la interconexión entre cristianismo y racismo. Antes de la decisión de no renovarle el contrato, los colegas de Moore habían valorado positivamente su rendimiento y su apoyo a la renovación del contrato.

Tras la decisión, más de 900 miembros de la comunidad universitaria de Taylor firmaron una carta abierta en la que condenaban la decisión de no renovar el contrato de Moore y pedían a la administración universitaria que se disculpara y la readmitiera. Más de 3.000 personas firmaron también una petición de Change.org creada por estudiantes anónimos de la Universidad Taylor, en la que se pedía a la administración universitaria que revocara la decisión de volver a nombrarla.

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Scholars at Risk (SAR) is a member of the Coalition for Academic Freedom in the Americas (CAFA), and partners with CAFA on Americas-focused monitoring activities. Relevant incidents, with factual details translated into Spanish, appear on both SAR and CAFA websites.

Scholars at Risk (SAR) es una institución que integra la Coalición por la Libertad Académica en las Américas (CLAA). SAR trabaja junto con la CLAA en el monitoreo de situaciones en las Américas. Los incidentes relevantes que reportamos, con descripción de hechos detallados en español, aparecen tanto en los portales de SAR como de la CLAA.