UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on Scholars at Risk
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UNH FACULTY SENATE
MOTION # XIV-M9

on scholars at risk

1.  Motion presenter:   Ted Howard

2.  Date of Faculty Senate discussion:  2/15/2010

3.   Rationale:  Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of universities and colleges seeking to protect scholars who are attacked for their words, ideas, and place in society.  SAR promotes academic freedom and defends the human rights of scholars and their communities worldwide.  The network is managed by New York University.  Their website states on http://scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu/About-Us/Mission.php that “Scholars at Risk members save lives by providing sanctuary to professors, lecturers, researchers and other intellectuals who suffer threats in their home country.  Through temporary academic positions, SAR members help scholars to escape dangerous conditions and to continue their important work.  In return, scholars contribute to their host campuses through teaching, research, lectures and other activities.  Many scholars return to their home countries after their visits. When safe return is not possible, SAR staff works with scholars to identify opportunities to continue their work abroad. The benefits are clear:  Scholars are free to live and work without fear.  SAR members gain talented academics and inspiring, courageous educators.  The world benefits from solidarity among universities, greater awareness of current threats to academic freedom, and deeper appreciation of the vital role of higher education and scholarship in free societies.”  UNH is a member of the network, but its membership does not appear to be institutionalized.  A small group of faculty met on the topic, but there is no record of any official appointments to a committee.  There is no record of any financial contribution to SAR.  UNH did review two folders in the recent past, conducting the reviews at the department level in cooperation with the college dean.  One person was identified as appropriate for a visiting faculty position at UNH; however, the status of that person changed; and so there was no final agreement.  Typically, SAR provides $25,000; and the host institution works out its own arrangements with the scholar regarding compensation, research and office space, housing, and teaching responsibilities.  SAR provides seminars and other activities for those who wish to become more involved. The senate committee concluded that SAR is a worthwhile organization, that UNH has participated in the past, and that what is lacking at UNH is an institutional commitment.

4.   Motion:  The Faculty Senate recommends that, upon ratification of a new contract between the AAUP and UNH, the provost’s office convene a standing committee on Scholars at Risk with an appropriate charge including the responsibility to monitor the network and distribute information to the faculty as appropriate.  Membership would include tenure-track faculty from all UNH colleges.

5.  Senate action:  passed unanimously.

6.  Senate chair’s signature:  Paula Salvio

Forwarded to:  President Mark Huddleston, on March 23, 2010

Forwarded to:  Provost John Aber, on March 23, 2010

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