Wednesday, March 09, 2011

My Campaign for the AAUP National Council

I'm running for the AAUP's National Council, for one of the at-large seats. If you're an AAUP member, please vote for me. I also encourage anyone to email me at with any questions, comments, or ideas for changing the AAUP, and I'll respond on this blog.

Here is my statement and biography:

John K. Wilson, Education, Illinois State University

Candidate Statement

I am running for National Council because of my
commitment to the AAUP's ideals and my
expertise in academic freedom. As a student of
the AAUP's history, I believe that the AAUP
must become a more active force in this century
in order to protect academic freedom and
improve higher education.

The AAUP cannot be a top-down organization,
no matter how wise our current leadership or
how hardworking the AAUP staffers are. The
strength of the AAUP is in its members, and we
must utilize our members to help the AAUP in its
advocacy, investigations, and recruitment. I
would like to help start an AAUP speakers
bureau to encourage our members to organize
events across the country and speak out. I am
currently working on starting an independent
group blog about higher education with the help
of many AAUP folks, because I believe the
AAUP members and leaders must reach out to
the public. I want to bridge the gap between the
National Council and state conferences and
chapters by working to aid them with my
experience in creating newspapers, email
newsletters, and websites.

I encourage you to read my books on higher
education or my blog at Even if you
don't plan to vote for me, email me at with your
suggestions for improving the AAUP, and I will
post your views on my blog along with my

The AAUP must revitalize itself, with a renewed
attention to recruiting adjunct faculty and the
graduate students who will form the future
generations of AAUP members. We need to
enhance the racial, gender, and class diversity of
the AAUP, encourage conservatives to join with
the AAUP's principled defense of academic
freedom, defend the rights of everyone in the
academic community, and expand the AAUP's
work. The AAUP has been most successful in its
history when it stands up for its principles,
speaks out against attacks on higher education,
and fights for academic freedom. I hope to do
this as part of the National Council, and
encourage all AAUP members to do the same.

Candidate Biography

John K. Wilson is a PhD student in Educational
Administration and Foundations at Illinois State
University, completing his dissertation on the
history of academic freedom in America. He
holds BAs in History, Philosophy, and Political
Science from the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, and has also attended the
University of Chicago. He has previously taught
education and political science classes as an
adjunct at Illinois State University.
He is the author of seven books, including The
Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush
Limbaugh's Assault on Reason (Thomas Dunne
Books, March 2011). His first book, The Myth of
Political Correctness: The Conservative Attack
on Higher Education (Duke University Press,
1995), won a Myers Center Award for the Study
of Human Rights in North America. He has also
written books about Newt Gingrich, Barack
Obama, and progressive politics, as well as
Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and
Its Enemies (Paradigm Publishers, 2008).
His essay on “Marketing McCarthyism: The
Media's Role in the War on Academic Freedom,”
appears in the new book, Academic Freedom in
the Post-9/11 Era (Palgrave Macmillan,
November 2010).

He has previously served on the Illinois AAUP
Council, on the national AAUP's Committee on
Graduate and Professional Students, and as editor
of Democratic Culture, the journal of Teachers
for a Democratic Culture. He currently serves on
the Association of State Conferences Awards
Committee, the Illinois AAUP's Committee A,
and has been editor since 2003 of the awardwinning
state conference newspaper, Illinois

He is founder of the blog College Freedom
(, and has been a
leading public advocate of academic freedom,
appearing on C-SPAN, the O'Reilly Factor, and
numerous radio and TV shows.

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