Academic Freedom First

Academic Freedom First

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Josh Davis started this petition to Augsburg University


We started this page to "Save Professor Adamo’s Job!" And we did it!

Phil Adamo was threatened with losing his job, but supporters of this page kept that from happening. Thank you!

Augsburg’s provost Karen Kaivola pulled Adamo from his classroom, without due process, because students complained when he quoted the N-word in a discussion of James Baldwin's novel, The Fire Next Time. When the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) accused Kaivola of limiting Adamo's academic freedom, she tried to switch the narrative, accusing Adamo of bias and discrimination, disrespect for students, teaching ineffectiveness, and flawed program leadership. But all of these accusations came only after the incident in Adamo's classroom—and this after an exemplary career of almost two decades at Augsburg.

None of it stuck! Thanks to the work of AAUP and FIRE, and your advocacy here, the provost has backed down. She has stopped dismissal proceedings and returned Adamo to the classroom.

Here's how you made that happen:

  • You stood up for academic freedom. 
  • You stood up to the provost and saved Prof. Adamo’s job.
  • You showed your support by signing our petition.

We've re-purposed this page to serve that larger goal of supporting academic freedom, not just at Augsburg, but around the country and around the globe. 

You can stay involved. Follow and make a donation to the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) and to FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), two organizations that were central in helping to save Prof. Adamo's job. Help the AAUP and FIRE help other professors whose reputations and livelihoods are at risk. 

Donate to the AAUP Foundation

Donate to FIRE.

Help us off-set legal costs. Donate to:

Save Prof. Adamo's Job

You can still ask your friends to sign this petition. We've also changed the focus of that page to "Save Academic Freedom." 

Finally, while Prof. Adamo will be returning to the classroom next fall, he will also continue his work as an advocate for academic freedom. To read excerpts from the memoir he's writing about the events at Augsburg, and/or to find out about his other work as a teacher, writer, and historian, visit 

Again, a huge thank you!

The #AllForAdamo Team

Read Prof. Adamo's statement on his blog!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!