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Dear Colleague,

The American Historical Association has sent a letter to members of the Indiana House Education Committee opposing SB 202, which “would undermine the integrity and quality of education in Indiana’s public universities.” The bill mandates that Indiana’s public universities create a policy for granting tenure and terminating faculty around fostering “intellectual diversity” in the classroom. But as the AHA’s letter notes, this bill would in fact stifle intellectual curiosity and force faculty members teaching complex subjects to be subject to the whims of politically appointed boards of trustees.

The AHA objects “to the premise that higher education faculty should be evaluated based on the diversity of their politics.” We suspect that many Indiana voters agree that faculty should be evaluated based on the quality of their teaching and instruction, rather than what trustees unfamiliar with the rigor of the historical discipline feel qualifies as “intellectual diversity.”

We urge the legislature to “reject this attempt at ideological monitoring that will weaken the system of tenure and discourage top-level faculty from joining Indiana’s public universities.”

How can you help? 

SB 202 is on the agenda for the House Education Committee when it meets on Wednesday, February 21.

  • Contact your representative in the Indiana House of Representatives to express opposition to the bill. You can use the website Plural to find your state representatives and access their contact information, including email addresses. Feel free to adapt the or craft your own.
  • Testify in person at the bill’s hearing on Wednesday at 10:30 AM in the House Chamber. Please note that the committee agenda includes SB 202 for amendment and vote only, so the chair may opt not to hear any additional testimony. If you would like to attend, you may submit a committee appearance form via the General Assembly website. The Indiana Statehouse is located at 200 W Washington St. in Indianapolis.

The AHA, its members, and other historians find ourselves on the front lines of a conflict over understandings of America’s past, confronting radical activists who are promoting ignorance in the name of unity. Please visit our Teaching History with Integrity site for the most up-to-date information about AHA efforts to combat these bills and for resources and expressions of support for history educators. We hope that you will distribute widely our short videos on Teaching with Integrity: Historians Speak.

The AHA’s advocacy work is more critical now than perhaps ever before. If you believe in the importance of honest history education, please donate to the AHA’s Advocacy Fund to support our advocacy work.

Sincerely,

James Grossman
Executive Director