Statement regarding academic freedom


Recent attacks on academic freedom in general and political interference with academic hiring processes at our department in particular have led to scientific and personal loss at our institution. While our staff and student body represent a wide variety of political perspectives and sensibilities, we all share a deep concern about these developments. Hiring processes are based on careful, scientific selection procedures and involve time-consuming labor and engagement by an international assortment of faculty, students, and reviewers. Respect for scientifically based hiring decisions and their confidentiality is necessary for the protection of academic freedom and scholarly independence.

Worryingly, such attacks on academic freedom are no longer the exception but seem to have become the rule in German speaking academia and beyond. We are gravely troubled by these processes and wish to reiterate calls by colleagues based in Germany and Switzerland to uphold the principles of academic freedom, critical and respectful exchange and intellectual pluralism.