Academic Groups Denounce Wisconsin GOP’s Demand for Professor’s E-Mails

Both the American Association of University Professors and the American Historical Association are opposing efforts by the Republican Party of Wisconsin to obtain e-mails sent by William Cronon, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, following his publication of a blog post critical of that state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker. The statement issued by the AHA, which Mr. Cronon serves as president-elect, accuses the Wisconsin GOP of abusing that state’s open-records law in seeking “a pretext for discrediting a scholar who has taken a public position.” Gregory F. Scholtz, associate secretary of the AAUP, said in a letter to University of Wisconsin officials that the disclosure of Mr. Cronon’s e-mails “will inevitably produce a chilling effect” on the academic freedom of scholars throughout that university system.

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