Protecting Academic Freedom

Protecting academic freedom is the AAUP's core mission. For almost a century we have been developing standards for sound academic practice and in working for the acceptance of these standards by the community of higher education.

The AAUP's Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure promotes principles of academic freedom, tenure, and due process in higher education through the development of policy documents and reports relating to these subjects and the application of those principles to particular situations that are brought to its attention. 

Each year, the staff of the committee receive thousands of questions about these standards and complaints of departures from them. The staff provides advice, mediation, and, in extreme cases, may recommend a formal investigation. 

Such investigations may lead Committee A to recommend to the Association’s national Council and annual meeting that the administration of an institution be censured for failure to adhere to the principles of academic freedom and tenure as endorsed by the AAUP and more than 200 other professional and educational organizations. See the list of censured administrations.

Members of the AAUP staff, acting on behalf of Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, communicate during the course of each year with administrations under censure. The staff offers its assistance and that of Committee A in bringing about developments at the institutions that would enable the committee to recommend to the annual meeting that the censure be removed. A summary of significant developments at institutions on the censure list appears annually in the issue of Academe that immediately precedes the annual meeting.

Read more about academic freedom.