Dear FA members,
As you are most likely aware, over the summer a failed coup attempt in Turkey has led to an unprecedented crackdown on academic freedom in that country. Thousands of professors and teachers have been fired from their jobs, arrested, and/or threatened with prosecution in trials which will most likely fail to meet even the most minimum international standards of fairness.
Sadly, the persecution of Turkish academics is not an aberration; around the world the number of scholars at risk of being fired, arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned and worse because of their political or religious beliefs or scholarship, or even unproven allegations about them, is increasing. Countries like Syria and Iraq have also seen mass persecution and, along with it, the flight of academics en mass. These colleagues—our colleagues—include some of the brightest and most creative minds in their fields. While most understandably wish for nothing more than to return home as soon as possible, all could be making significant contributions to our profession if given the opportunity.
Recognizing this situation, two organizations, Scholars at Risk (SAR) and Scholars Rescue Fund (SRF), have created programs to help scholars from the regions most devastated by war and authoritarianism who face demonstrable risks to their freedom and/or lives, to find temporary positions in the United States and Europe. In particular, they have created databases of vetted scholars whom they are trying to place and fostered stable hosting relationships with numerous Universities in the U.S. and Canada. Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, for example, have set up a joint program to co-host SAR scholars in which the university administration is providing matching funds to faculty donations (http://carleton.ca/provost/
We invite you all to contribute to making UCSB an active hosting partner of SAR and SRF by consulting their lists in order to identify scholars that may be suited to be invited by your department in some visiting capacity, and to ask your Department Chair to consult such lists regularly when regular faculty go on leaves or sabbaticals. The SRF list is at http://www.scholarrescuefund.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. For further information please contact Claudio Fogu <email@example.com>.
PS: If you wish to support SAR and/or SRF personally, please go to: https://salsa4.salsalabs.com/
FA Executive Board