AHA Advocacy 2019

  • AHA Resolution Supporting Scholars off the Higher Education Tenure Track (December 2019)

    On December 10 the AHA adopted a resolution in support of scholars off the higher education tenure track and expressed its commitment to support, encourage, and engage the thousands of history scholars currently working off the higher education tenure track in a variety of settings.
  • AHA Pushes for Reauthorization of Title VI College Affordability Act (October 2019)

    The AHA joined 30 other organizations expressing their support for reauthorization of the College Affordability Act, a federally funded Title VI–International Education program. The coalition urged the US House Committee on Education and Labor and Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Investment to continue its bipartisan support for the initiative.
  • AHA Comments on Proposed NLRB Rule Change (October 2019)

    The National Labor Relations Board is considering a rule change that would diminish the right of graduate students at private universities to organize unions. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, "rather than looking at the facts in any case before it, the National Labor Relations Board is aiming to create an overarching rule that would exclude teaching and research assistants from being covered by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act." The American Historical Association opposes the proposed rule change.
  • AHA Defends Emeritus Professor Romila Thapar (October 2019)

    On October 7, AHA President John McNeill sent a letter to Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi to discourage the university’s review of Romila Thapar’s status as emeritus professor. McNeill cited her impressive record of contributions and achievements, including being named an AHA Honorary Foreign Member.
  • AHA Signs onto Amicus Curiae Brief Providing Historical Context to the Decision to Rescind DACA (October 2019)

    The AHA has joined the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality (Seattle University), the Organization of American Historians, and numerous individual historians on an amicus curiae brief supporting respondents in Department of Homeland Security, et al. Petitioners v. Regents of the University of California, et al. Respondents. The brief explains the relationship between the history of anti-Mexican and Latinx racism and the use of related racist code words in the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.In situations involving the rights and careers of individual historians, historical practice in diverse venues, or the role of history in public culture, the AHA has the responsibility to take public stands – including participation in relevant legal proceedings. Everything has a history; in this particular case, the AHA considers it imperative for the court to be aware of the historical context of current efforts to vilify an entire racial group.
  • AHA Signs onto MESA letter to US Department of Education (September 2019)

    The AHA and other academic associations signed onto a letter from the Middle East Studies Association that registered alarm over the US Department of Education's position towards the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, an unprecedented intervention in academic curricula and the autonomy of higher education.
  • AHA Signs onto Amicus Brief in Pitch v. United States (September 2019)

    The American Historical Associationhas signed onto an amicus brief in Pitch v. United States regarding the release of grand juryrecords froma 1946 court case about the Moore's Ford Lynching in Walton County, Georgia. Though grand jury records are usually kept under seal forever, the AHA supports the court's original position that these records can be released as a matter of exceptional historical significance, a precedent the government is working to overturn.
  • AHA Signs onto ASA Statement on Teaching Evaluations (September 2019)

    The American Historical Association signed onto the American Sociological Association’s Statement on Teaching Evaluations. While acknowledging the valuable feedback that student experiences in the classroom can provide, the statement discourages the use of such assessments as a primary factor in faculty promotion, salary increase, and appointment. Studies have shown that student evaluations of teaching are easily biased, particularly towards women and minorities, and weakly related to other measures of teaching effectiveness and learning outcomes. The ASA also provides recommendations of best practices for future collection and implementation of student feedback.
  • Statement on Domestic Terrorism, Bigotry, and History (August 2019)

    The American Historical Association expects the following statement to stimulate more questions than answers. The Association hopes these questions make their way into classrooms, libraries, museums, city council meetings, community centers, and even coffee shops, wherever people are trying to connect with each other to make historical sense of our current moment.
  • AHA Opposes Elimination of History Department at Gordon College (July 2019)

    On July 29, the American Historical Association sent a letter to Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, in response to the college's drastic restructuring plan and the decision to subsume the history department under one single Political Science, Philosophy, and History entity. The AHA vehemently urged the administration to reconsider its decision and highlighted the detrimental effects to faculty employment, pedagogical and research standards, and student learning outcomes.
  • AHA Expresses Support for the Right of Scholars to Sign the Academics for Peace Petition (July 2019)

    On July 24, in a letter to judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey, the AHA joined 26 other scholarly associations expressing their support for the right of scholars and academics to sign the Academics for Peace Petition. The letter commended the court's recent rulings upholding protections for freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and urged the court to continue these protections as it considers the upcoming criminal cases of the Peace Petition signatories.
  • AHA Supports Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott Refusal to Aid in ICE Raids (July 2019)

    On July 15, the AHA sent letters to the CEOs of Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Marriott International, hotel chains the Association regularly uses for its annual meetings. AHA executive director Jim Grossman applauded the companies' refusal to allow US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to utilize hotel space as temporary detention centers during the announced raids on immigrant communities.
  • AHA Expresses Concern about Access to the Guatemala Policía Nacional Archives (June 2019)

    On June 13, the AHA sent a letter to Jimmy Morales Cabrera, president of the Republic of Guatemala, urging continued access to materials in the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional (AHPN). The agreement concerning housing of the archive expires on June 30, 2019, and the AHA urged officials to permit the archive to remain in its current location and to continue the program of lodging digitized copies with the government of Switzerland and the University of Texas at Austin.
  • AHA Signs onto Letter of Support for Federal Funding of International Education and Foreign Language Program (May 2019)

    On May 28, the AHA joined other scholarly and professional organizations in sending a letter to Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. The letter advocated increased funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies and articulated the sought-after international skills curated by such programs as Title VI and Fulbright-Hays.
  • AHA Endorses Coalition for International Education Letter for Congressional Title VI Funding (May 2019)

    The American Historical Association signed onto a letter from the Coalition for International Education to Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The letter expressed support for the bipartisan re-authorization of the Higher Education Act and encouraged incorporation of Title VI funding into the bill.
  • Letter of Concern over Departmental Changes at University of Tulsa (May 2019)

    On May 14, the AHA sent a letter to the University of Tulsa provost Janet Levit urging the university administration to reconsider its radical restructuring plan for the humanities. AHA executive director Jim Grossman articulated worries over both the plan’s impact and the manner in which deliberations and decisions were conducted without input from key disciplines.
  • AHA Sends Letter of Concern to Stanford University (May 2019)

    On May 8, AHA executive director Jim Grossman sent a letter to Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne and provost Persis Drell to voice concern for the proposed reduction in funding for Stanford University Press, a leading and primary publisher of fundamental and influential works in the historical discipline.
  • AHA Signs onto Letter Protesting Cuts to Humanities Programs in Brazil (March 2019)

    The AHA joined 12 organizations in signing onto a letter issued by the American Philosophical Association and the American Sociological Association in response to Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro’s proposal to defund philosophy and sociology programs in the country.
  • AHA Signs onto Letter Protesting Alaskan Budget Cuts (March 2019)

    On March 4, the American Historical Association joined 32 other professional societies in sending a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy and several other congressional representatives of the state of Alaska to express deep concern over the proposed $134 million reduction in state funding for the University of Alaska. The consortium of organizations highlighted the multifaceted consequences for Alaskan constituents and urged state leadership to reconsider.
  • Letter Protesting Michigan Mayor’s Termination of Journal Editor’s Contract (Feb 2019)

    On February 11, AHA executive director Jim Grossman sent a letter to Mayor John O’Reilly of Dearborn, Michigan, protesting the dismissal of Bill McGraw, editor of the city’s historical commission’s journal, for publishing an article about Henry Ford's anti-Semitism.
  • AHA Maintains Support for the Separation of Hungarian Politics and Academic Inquiry (Feb 2019)

    On February 11, the AHA sent a letter to the leadership of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to reaffirm its support for the autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The AHA cautioned against reforms that would subject academy funding to approval from ministerial authorities. The separation of the Academy’s research institutes and publications from politics is a crucial cornerstone of the institution’s international integrity and the credibility of its historical scholarship.
  • AHA Expresses Concerns about Potential Impact of Plan S on the Humanities (Feb 2019)

    The AHA fully supports broad access to the resources required to create new knowledge and share it as widely as possible. However, concerns about the principles set out in Plan S have led the AHA to write a letter to Coalition S members regarding the potential for harm to humanities scholarship.
  • AHA Calls on Nicaraguan President to Release History Professor (Jan 2019)

    On January 24, the Association sent a letter to Daniel Ortega Saavedra, president of the Republic of Nicaragua, articulatingconcern about the imprisonment of Professor Ricardo Baltodano Marcenaro of the Universidad Politécnica de Nicaragua and the charges leveled against him. The AHA cited the UN High Commission for Human Rights’ inquiry into the case and urged Baltodano’s immediate release.