Dear Friends and Colleagues in the Academy of Management:
I'm writing to you today as President of the AOM in the wake of the Executive Order signed by President Trump to suspend entry into the United States of citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Thank you to those who have written to me and to other officers about the new restrictions on travel and their implications for AOM. Thanks as well to those of you who have posted on listservs and social media. The scores of messages that I have read reflect the diversity of our 20,000 members, and of the political, social and cultural traditions of the 127 nations where we live and work. Our members hold a range of views on the public policies that have recently been implemented. Many of you have expressed concern about travel to the Annual Meeting in Atlanta; many are interpreting the Executive Order as a direct attack on scholarship; and some are worried about the implication for pluralism on all sides of this issue. A number of you have asked the AOM to condemn the order as antithetical to scholarly values, academic freedom, and democratic processes. Yet because of our very diversity, the AOM has long had a binding policy that restricts any officer from taking a stand on any political issue in the name of the AOM.
I can affirm as President that the AOM stands behinds its vision, mission, objectives, and core values. The AOM fervently values all its members. We are committed to inclusion, supportive communities, and social and academic freedom as fundamental and undeniable tenets of scholarly association. Our values emphasize the full diversity of member backgrounds and experiences. The AOM Statement of Values expresses that "We respect each of our members' voices and seek to amplify their ideas." To enact our values, we are taking initiatives on several fronts. First, the AOM is suspending the requirement of attendance as a condition of inclusion in the program at the Annual Meeting for those affected by the travel restrictions. All scholars whose work is accepted to the conference but are not able to enter the United States from travel-restricted countries will have access to sessions in which they are presenting through virtual means. Second, we will also share with you, via our website, the best information that we have about Visa application processes for those who want to attend. We encourage any member from the affected countries who wishes to attend but cannot because of travel restrictions to contact us so that we can work with you toward participation.
Our mission is "To build a vibrant and supportive community of scholars by markedly expanding opportunities to connect and explore ideas." To fulfill this mission, the AOM will soon hold specialized conferences outside the United States on topics proposed by and of interest to members. Please see our website for information on this initiative. I invite you to submit a proposal if you are interested in leading one. We also will continue working with our affiliates and associates around the world who convene meetings in support of management scholarship and teaching.
The vision of the AOM is to inspire and enable a better world through our scholarship and teaching about management and organizations. I encourage AOM members to double down on the scholarly agenda. Let us be more engaged, creative, and committed to scholarship and teaching on the issues of our day. Let us stand together in Atlanta in solidarity with our diverse membership as the world's premiere association of management scholars and business-school professors. Academic integrity is our strength. Through our scholarly discussions and debate, we can find a way forward together. This is the AOM's purpose and this cannot and will not change.
Thank you again for your involvement in our AOM community, for your ideas, and for your work as educators.
Anita M McGahan
Academy of Management
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