LINKS – LEADING ORGANIZATIONS
ACTA, founded in 1995, has proven a consistent voice for alumni interests, working “to ensure responsible management of higher education resources, end grade inflation, establish a solid core curriculum, and restore intellectual diversity on campus.” Its founding members included Lynne Cheney, Joseph Lieberman, and Saul Bellow. ACTA has proven a reliable voice for the interests of trustees and alumni in University affairs, with members from over 400 colleges and universities. It produces a quarterly publication Inside Academe.
FIRE, founded in 1998 by Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate following the publication of their The Shadow University is devoted to protection of “freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience” at American universities. FIRE has two principal efforts, the Individual Rights Defense Program and the Individual Rights Education Program. The defense program provides legal and institutional support for students’ free speech rights. The education program is devoted to appraising students of these rights. In both particulars FIRE is active in campaigning against restrictive campus speech codes. It publishes a yearly Spotlight on Speech Code, publicizing speech restrictions at American universities, as well a several student guides to free expression. The Spotlight, available online, profiles the speech policies of some 200 colleges and universities.
ISI was founded in 1953 by Frank Chodorov, with William F. Buckley as first President to convey to students “an appreciation for the values and institutions that sustain a free and virtuous society.” At present, ISI conducts a wide variety of educational programs, providing conferences, lectures, and seminars, and offering Fellowships for Graduate studies. It pursues a wide range of publishing, issuing numerous books, including a noted College Guide, and three journals, The Intercollegiate Review, Modern Age, and The Political Science Reviewer. Its membership numbers over 50,000 students and faculty members.
I.S.I. additionally directs the Collegiate Network, which provides “technical and financial assistance” to nearly 100 independent publications at many American universities. It administers student internships and fellowships, as well as an online publication, Campus Magazine.com.
The NAS is an academic association of professors, graduate students, trustees, and administrators pressing for “an informed understanding of the Western intellectual heritage.” Its prominent concerns include “the substitution of social reform for the pursuit of knowledge”, “dogmatic hostility to Western civilization”, and the decline of core curricula and the rise of “unscholarly curricular innovations.”
It publishes a quarterly journal Academic Questions, a quarterly newsletter NAS Update, a general scientific publication, Science Insights, and commissions occasional research and surveys. Conferences and events are helped by both the national organization and local chapters. It has local chapters in 45 states and the District of Columbia and a Canadian affiliate, with membership over 3,000
The American Academy for Liberal Education is an association that accredits institutions offering “quality general education programs in the liberal arts.” Their accreditation is premised upon “demanding core studies in the arts, sciences, and humanities” These distinctions are measures for parents and students seeking challenging and comprehensive programs of studies. It is a U.S. Department of Education-approved accreditor of Higher Education institutions, with members such as St John’s College, Thomas Aquinas College, and the University of Dallas.
ACTC, founded at Temple University in 1994, is a liberal arts professional association advocating the study of great texts and core curricula. It promotes “the integrated and common study of world classics and other texts of major cultural significance” through conferences, and symposia, continuing research on the varying nature and direction of core studies at U.S. Institutions. It possesses 66 “institutional contributors” including Columbia, Emory, Hampden-Sydney, Pepperdine, St. John’s, and the University of Chicago.
The Association is dedicated to the revival of the study of free institutions and free societies in Higher Education. It works to promote the study of such institutions and their histories, along with ideological, totalitarian, or religious threats to their functioning. Particular encouragement is provided to centers on the model of the Madison Center at Princeton and the Colgate Center for Freedom and Western Civilization.
Campus Watch is a project of the Middle East forum dedicated to the review of Middle East Studies in U.S. Higher Education. Its principal focus is review for “analytical failures, the mixing of politics with scholarship, intolerance of alternative views, apologetics, and the abuse of power over students.” Campus Watch offers profiles of over fifty higher colleges and Universities, and the details of such incidents occurring there.
The Claremont Institute’s mission is “to restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.” Since 1979, it has engaged in a wide variety of such activities, with many of them focused on higher education. It hold frequent lectures and symposia, and publishes both the Claremont Review of Books, a notable book review, and The Proposition, which features excerpts of the work of Claremont scholars. The Institute offers the Lincoln and Publius Fellowship, educational programs focused on the American founding, for students and professionals respectively.
The Federalist Society is a legal association dedicated to “reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.” Law schools’ advocacy of a “centralized and uniform society” has been a prominent focus of their activities since their founding in 1982. The Society has faculty and student divisions with some 5,000 members at over 180 law schools. It holds numerous lectures, symposia, and debates at member schools and engages in a wide variety of publishing, from the ABA Watch to the Pre-Law Reading List.
The Fund for American Studies hosts nine institutes to provide college students with an education in “the theory, practice and benefits of a free society.” Eight institutes are held each summer, in Washington, Greece, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic. One institute is held in the spring and fall in Washington. The Fund holds additional professor and journalism seminars. The institutes, consisting of internships, coursework, and lectures, focus on such particular topics as Political Journalism, Comparative Politics and Economics, Business and Government Affairs, and Philanthropy and Voluntary Service. It has some 7,500 alumni from 700 colleges and universities in the US and worldwide.
IHS is dedicated to “change the current climate of opinion to one more congenial to the principles and practice of freedom” and pursues this goal through a variety of student programs and fellowships. It awards over $400,000 in scholarships each year to University students worldwide, for graduate or undergraduate study, research, and filmmaking. Additional grants are available in essay competitions and to support faculty research. Numerous student summer seminars are held at colleges and universities across the country on a range of topics concerning liberty, free societies, economics, and journalism.
Liberty Fund is an educational foundation and publisher established to “encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.” Founded in 1960 by Pierre Goodrich it has since been devoted to publications and conferences devoted to exploring the “dimensions of liberty.” It publishes around 20 volumes a year, many of them reprints of seminal works of economic and political theory. It organizes some 160 related conferences a year in Europe and the Americas.
NEH is an “independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.” It has been providing support since 1963 to fellowships, research, publications, and education in the humanities. It has supported such projects as Ken Burns’ Civil War and volumes on American history by Bernard Bailyn, Louis Menand, and James McPherson. It publishes a bimonthly magazine, Humanities.
The Pope Center, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is dedicated to reform of higher education, especially, but not exclusively, in North Carolina. It encourages scholarly inquiry, responsible teaching, and student commitment to learning. It conducts a variety of research, publishing inquiry papers and holding conferences on such topics as governance, curriculum, financing, access, accountability, faculty research, and administrative policies. It publishes a weekly email newsletter on higher education, The Clarion Call, and the higher education section of The Carolina Journal.
The Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship is a Canadian organization devoted to the maintenance of freedom and excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Its concerns include resistance against speech codes, discrimination on grounds of thought, and unfair preferences. Its goal of “promoting reasoned debate on issues of academic freedom and scholarship” is pursued through a variety of advocacy activities. The Society publishes SAF Newsletter monthly.
SPLC is a legal assistance agency devoted to “educating high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and supporting the student news media in their struggle to cover important issues free from censorship.” The center provides legal advice and educational materials to students, along with a network of 150 attorneys offering free representation under most circumstances. It produces a quarterly report of Student Journalism censorship cases.
SAF’s mission is to “end the political abuse of the university and to restore integrity to the academic mission as a disinterested pursuit of knowledge.” Founded by David Horowitz, a central focus of SAF has been the promotion of an Academic Bill of Rights, dedicated to ensuring non-political instruction and freedom of expression. Students for Academic Freedom has over 200 College and University chapters, dedicated to the removal of political concerns from academic considerations.