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Pursuit of Truth Campaign
By John K. Wilson

On July 11, 2014, faculty from colleges around the Chicago area met at Columbia College to launch the Pursuit of Truth Campaign, to build a coalition of Chicago colleges and universities aiming to "reclaim the college's original mission of serving the public good and pursuing truth." The event was held in coordination with the AAUP's One Faculty Campaign, the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor (COCAL), UIC United Faculty, and the Coalition Against Corporate Higher Education (CACHE).

Speakers at the event included Joerg Tiede (president of the AAUP's Assembly of State Conferences) who discussed the history of academic freedom and contingent faculty, and Chicago lawyers Michael Person and Rima Kapitan who discussed legal issues surrounding academic freedom.

Diana Vallera, a leader in the Pfac union of part-time faculty at Columbia and Columbia's AAUP chapter, and who helped organize the event, noted: "Any kind of organization like this where you can build a collective voice is crucial." Kwang-Wu Kim, the president of Columbia College Chicago, also spoke at the event and said, "I'm very excited about this campaign," adding about academic freedom that "this first year at Columbia has convinced me that this is a subject that we need to explore in great depth." John Boyle, who was denied tenure at NEIU, and is now teaching at California State University at Fresno, also spoke, "Thanking the AAUP for all that they've done to help me."

Additional events for the coalition are being planned for 2015; to get involved, email Diana Vallera at diana@studioera2.com.