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The Human Rights Watch Academic Freedom Committee

The Human Rights Watch Academic Freedom Committee aims to monitor, expose, and mobilize concerted action to challenge threats to academic freedom worldwide, and to foster greater scholarly and media attention to the critical role played by higher education in the development and preservation of civil society.

When teachers, researchers, or students are harassed or imprisoned for exercising their rights of free expression and inquiry, when their work or research is censored, when access to educational institutions is restricted on discriminatory grounds, or when universities and schools are closed for political reasons, the committee responds by publicizing the abuses in the media and in the academic community, sending protest letters to appropriate government officials, and uniting concerned organizations in coordinated campaigns for effective international action.

The Human Rights Watch Academic Freedom Committee is composed of twenty-eight university presidents and scholars. Its co-chairs are Jonathan Fanton of the New School for Social Research, Hanna Holborn Gray of the University of Chicago, Vartan Gregorian of the Carnegie Corporation, and Charles Young of the University of California at Los Angeles. Its membership currently includes:

Johnetta Cole, President Emerita, Spelman College;
Joel Conarroe, President, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation;
Lord Ralf Dahrendorf, Warden, St. Antony's College, Oxford;
Ariel Dorfman, Research Professor, Duke University;
Thomas Ehrlich, Professor, Stanford University Law School;
James O. Freedman, President, Dartmouth College;
John Kenneth Galbraith, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University;
Bernard Harleston, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education;
Alice Stone Ilchman, President, Sarah Lawrence College;
Stanley N. Katz, Professor, Princeton University;
Nannerl O. Keohane, President, Duke University;
James T. Laney, President, Emory University;
Paul LeClerc, President, The New York Public Library;
Fang Lizhi, Professor, University of Arizona;
Walter E. Massey, President, Morehouse College;
Krzysztof Michalski, Professor, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna;
Joseph A. O'Hare, President, Fordham University;
L. Jay Oliva, President, New York University;
Yuri Orlov, Senior Scientist, Cornell University;
Frank H. T. Rhodes, President Emeritus, Cornell University;
Neil Rudenstine, President, Harvard University;
George Rupp, President, Columbia University;
Judith R. Shapiro, President, Barnard College;
Michael Sovern, Professor, Columbia University Law School;
Chang-Lin Tien, Chancellor Emeritus, University of California at Berkeley.

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