ASEEES Joins Scholars at Risk Network

Publishing Date: 
Monday, January 16, 2017

The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies has joined Scholars at Risk (SAR), a network of over 400 higher education institutions in 39 countries working to protect threatened scholars, prevent attacks on higher education and promote academic freedom.

“By joining SAR, ASEEES stands in solidarity with educators, researchers and students around the world, particularly those in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, who are threatened for peacefully expressing ideas and asking questions,” said Julie Cassiday, Professor of Russian at Williams College and ASEEES President-Elect/Vice President, who will serve as ASEEES’s Primary Representative with SAR. “Academic freedom is fundamental to ASEEES’s mission. As a SAR member, we demonstrate our commitment and responsibility to preserving and promoting the freedom to think, locally and globally.”

According to Free to Think, a recent report published by SAR, scholars and students at universities around the world face regular threats as a result of their academic work and free expression of ideas. These threats to higher education communities range from restrictions on travel and unjustified firings to imprisonment and violence. “Attacks on higher education shrink the space where people can freely think and ask questions about complex and contentious issues,” said SAR’s Executive Director, Robert Quinn. “Our Network members are central to protecting scholars targeted by these attacks and building a stronger, safer university space.”

SAR member institutions assist persecuted scholars and students by offering temporary research and teaching positions, monitoring and advocating against attacks on higher education, and conducting learning initiatives to promote academic freedom. In addition, faculty, staff and students at member institutions have the opportunity to engage in SAR activities, including:

ASEEES members are invited to learn more about Scholars at Risk and how to get involved by contacting Julie Cassiday at and signing up for SAR updates.