Section 1. The full name of this organization shall be “The Alliance for Academic Freedom.” The short name of this organization shall be “AAF.”
Section 2. The AAF is a voluntary association of North American scholars and academics (including graduate students) facilitated by Ameinu. The object of our organization is to further the principles articulated in its founding Statement of Principles by means of the activities specified therein. To accommodate structural and name changes when the Academic Advisory Council divided into the Alliance for Academic Freedom (AAF) and Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP), the original Statement of Principles has been slightly modified (without altering the AAF’s mission). The AAF shall also provide a forum through The Third Narrative for discussion of issues where consensus does not exist within the group, provided the views expressed therein are broadly consistent with the AAF’s founding principles.
Section 3. The AAF, as an independent organization facilitated by Ameinu, shall be permitted to receive its own dedicated contributions to be used for the furtherance of its goals.
ARTICLE 2. Qualification of members.
Section 1. Membership in AAF is open to college or university faculty, academic staff, and administrators with appropriate academic qualifications (including those who are emeritus), adjunct instructors, researchers, and graduate students who (a) assent to the principles and aims of the AAF and (b) are affiliated with a North American college, university, or research institute.
Section 2. Scholars who do not meet all of the criteria in the previous section but who assent to the principles and aims of the AAF and wish to join it may do so upon the approval of the AAF’s executive committee.
ARTICLE 3. Executive committee.
Section 1. There shall be an executive committee (hereafter EC) of the AAF consisting of seven members-at-large of the AAF. The CEO of Ameinu shall serve as a nonvoting ex-officio member of the EC and, when funds are available, as (nonvoting) treasurer for the AAF. The National President of Ameinu shall also serve as a nonvoting ex-officio member of the EC. The EC may at its discretion also appoint one or more advisers, who need not be AAF members, to serve on the EC in a nonvoting ex-officio capacity.
Section 2. The EC will be responsible for coordinating and directing the work of the AAF. In addition, the EC shall be responsible for drafting and issuing public statements limited to matters relevant to the AAF’s principles and aims. If the EC is not confident that broad support exists within the AAF to make a particular statement given the founding principles of the group, it can solicit feedback from AAF members and might choose to use electronic voting to clarify whether or not a broad consensus exists (defined, in the case of a vote, by a two-thirds majority of those who vote favoring the issuing of a discrete resolution). On issues where consensus does not exist within the AAF, the EC may inform members about advocacy and public education opportunities.
Section 3. At the time of the adoption of these by-laws, the inaugural EC members were: Gideon Aronoff (nonvoting ex-officio), Ken Bob (nonvoting ex-officio), Chad Alan Goldberg, David Greenberg, Sharon Ann Musher, Cary Nelson, Brent Sasley, Ken Stern, and Steven Zipperstein. The seven EC members who are at-large AAF members shall serve two-year terms, starting in May 2014 for inaugural members, and starting immediately after their election for all subsequent EC members. Elections for these seven EC positions will be held no later than the third week of May 2016 and every two years thereafter. All AAF members are eligible to run for and hold seats on the EC. Currently serving EC members may run for re-election. Nominations and balloting will be conducted on-line with the facilitation of Ameinu. Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. Once ballots are cast, the nominees will be ranked in order of the number of votes each of them receives, with the elected EC positions going to the seven highest vote getters.
Section 4. The EC shall select from among its members a chairperson to serve for a two-year term who will be responsible for coordinating its work in cooperation with the CEO of Ameinu. The chair will serve at the pleasure of the EC as a whole and must resign if asked to do so by a majority of voting EC members. With the consent of the EC, two EC members may serve together as co-chairs, sharing between them all duties and responsibilities of the chair.
Section 5. A quorum for conducting EC business will consist of a majority of voting EC members. Decisions of the EC should be made by consensus whenever possible, or by majority vote when the EC is unable to reach a consensus and the chairperson or co-chairs determine that a decision is necessary. If and when votes are taken, the chairperson (or co-chairs) may vote only in case of a tie. The EC may meet, vote, and conduct its work in person, electronically via email or Internet, or by conference call.
ARTICLE 4. Division of labor and working relations among EC and TTN.
Section 1. The AAF may conduct its general work through the listserv shared by AAF and Scholars for Israel and Palestine (or a separate AAF listserv if and when it is established). All AAF members may use the listserv to communicate with fellow members on issues or questions relevant to the AAF’s object and principles.
Section 2. TTN is intended as a place where AAF members can speak out individually on a broader set of issues, including issues for which there is no (or there is not yet) broad consensus within the AAF. The Third Narrative newsletter will highlight recent postings, but it is not intended to be a newsletter of the AAF.
Section 3. The EC may, at its discretion, in consultation with the membership or at the request of AAF members, appoint special committees or working groups to assist with specific tasks such as publicity, recruitment, fund raising, etc. Each special committee or working group must have a chair or co-chairs, a clear written statement of aims, and shall report regularly on its work to the EC. The EC may also ask these special committees or working groups to submit a report to the membership and/or specific recommendations to the EC or to take specific actions on behalf of the AAF as a whole.
Section 4. AAF members are permitted and encouraged to form, with the consent of the EC, campus or regional chapters to coordinate work on local issues. Each campus or regional chapter must have a chair or co-chairs, and shall report regularly on its work to the EC. Campus or regional chapters may ask the EC to take specific actions on behalf of the AAF as a whole. While AAF membership is not open to undergraduate students, AAF members are encouraged to connect informally on their respective campuses with interested undergraduates.
ARTICLE 5. Adoption and amendment of the by-laws.
Section 1. These bylaws are provisional until adoption by the membership of the AAF. Such adoption shall be by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of those members casting ballots. Voting shall be conducted on-line with the facilitation of Ameinu. Once adopted, these bylaws must be publicly available to all AAF members.
Section 2. An amendment to these bylaws may be proposed at any time in writing to the EC by any AAF member with the support of any nine other AAF members. When the EC receives such a proposal, it must inform the broader membership and (with the facilitation of Ameinu) arrange an on-line vote on the proposed amendment to coincide with the next regular EC election, or earlier at the discretion of the EC. The proposed amendment must be made available to AAF members at least three months before the election. An amendment to these bylaws shall carry with two-thirds of the votes cast.
Author:Alliance for Academic Freedom
The AAF currently consists of over 120 liberal and progressive scholars, affiliated with The Third Narrative, who are dedicated to combating academic boycotts and blacklists, defending freedom of expression and promoting empathy and civility in the debate over Israelis and Palestinians. More information on the AAF can be found at: http://thirdnarrative.org/community/campus/aaf/
Our TTN booklet responds to some of the most common and inaccurate accusations made against Israel from the far left by activists trying to appeal to those who are committed to human rights and social justice.
Scholars for Israel & Palestine (SIP) Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, Pro-Peace Scholars for Israel and Palestine comprises progressive academics who are pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, and pro-peace. We are committed to advancing a two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine, bringing peace, justice and dignity to both sides. Click here for background, statements by the SIP and an application to join.
The Third Narrative engages with people on the left who suspect that it is wrong to lay all blame for the Arab-Israeli conflict at the feet of Israeli Jews but feel that too many Israel supporters reflexively support –or passively accept—the Israeli occupation. When it comes to this conflict, the truth is rarely black or white; it resides in a gray area where advocates on either side typically don’t like to venture.. » read more