In late September, the Middle East Forum, directed by Daniel Pipes and engaged in "promoting American interests" by exposing anti-Israeli bias it finds in current Middle Eastern reporting and scholarship, announced the formation of Campus Watch. Stated goals of this new program are to "identify key faculty who teach and write about contemporary affairs at university Middle East Studies departments in order to analyze and critique the work of these specialists for errors or biases," to "develop a network of concerned students and faculty members," and, through postings on its Web site, to "keep the public informed of course syllabi" and "relevant university events." Appearing initially on the Campus Watch Web site were the dossiers of seven professors and one graduate student. Most of the professors include scholars who have served as chairs of their departments and as officers of the Middle East Studies Association. A list of fourteen universities to be watched, two of them in Canada, also appeared on the Web site. Professors whose dossiers were listed informed the AAUP that they were immediately subjected to massive spamming of their e-mail addresses and, in the case of one of them, to repeated death threats. Outcries against the dossiers led to their removal as a separate section of the Web site, but attacks on particular professors were retained in another section.
AAUP associate general secretary Jordan Kurland had this to say about Campus Watch: "Obviously, it is a menace to academic freedom, and we are taking it very seriously. It reminds us of Accuracy in Academia, a group that emerged in the mid-1980s with a call to patriotic students to monitor their professors for indications of Marxism in their teachings. The academic community greeted Accuracy in Academia with disdain, the public was not taken in, and it never really got off the ground."