Standing Committee and Subcommittee Reports

On Trigger Warnings

A current threat to academic freedom in the classroom comes from a demand that teachers provide warnings in advance if assigned material contains anything that might trigger difficult emotional responses for students.

On Partnerships with Foreign Governments: The Case of Confucius Institutes

Allowing any third-party control of academic matters is inconsistent with principles of academic freedom, shared governance, and the institutional autonomy of colleges and universities. Confucius Institutes function as an arm of the Chinese state and are allowed to ignore these principles.

Defending the Freedom to Innovate: Faculty Intellectual Property Rights after Stanford v. Roche

Tensions over control of the fruits of faculty scholarship have been slowly building since the 1980s and have intensified over the last three years. There have long been differences of opinion over ownership of patentable inventions, but recently a number of universities have categorically asserted that they own the products of faculty research. And there is increasing institutional interest in declaring ownership of faculty intellectual property subject to copyright—most notably evident in demands that faculty members cede ownership of online courses and other instructional materials to their universities, a trend that began escalating in the 2012–13 academic year.

Statement on Intellectual Property

The management of inventions, patents, and other forms of intellectual property in a university setting warrants special guidance because it bears on so many aspects of the university’s core missions, values, and functions, including academic freedom, scholarship, research, shared governance, and the transmission and use of academic knowledge by the broader society.

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

This revised report brings up to date and expands upon the Association’s 2004 report on the same topic, while affirming the earlier report’s basic principles. Academic freedom, free inquiry, and freedom of expression within the academic community may be limited to no greater extent in electronic format than they are in print, save for the most unusual situation where the very nature of the medium itself might warrant unusual restrictions,

Defending the Freedom to Innovate: Faculty Intellectual Property Rights After Stanford v. Roche

This report is being issued in the midst of fundamental changes in the character of faculty rights and academic freedom. The purpose of the report is to put the dialog on intellectual property on a new foundation, one that leads to a principle-based restoration of faculty leadership in setting policy in this increasingly important area of university activity. Administration efforts to control the fruits of faculty scholarship augur a sea change in faculty employment conditions, one too often imposed without negotiation or consent.
 

Confidentiality and Faculty Representation in Academic Governance

A report arguing that requiring faculty members to sign confidentiality agreements as a requirement to serve on university committees is in most cases inconsistent with widely accepted standards of shared governance and with the concept of serving as a representative. 

Faculty Communication with Governing Boards: Best Practices

From its initial statement of principles in 1915 and its earliest investigations into violations of academic freedom, the AAUP has emphasized the necessity of effective communication among those who participate in academic governance. Based on a consideration of relevant AAUP documents, the current climate in higher education, and feedback on an earlier draft, the final statement urges greater communication between faculties and governing boards in colleges and universities.

Regulation of Research on Human Subjects: Academic Freedom and the Institutional Review Board

Local institutional review boards, which make decisions about the permissibility of research, often have no special competence; the AAUP recommends improvements. Read the newly released final version of this report.

The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments

The proportion of faculty appointments that are “contingent”—lacking the benefits and protections of tenure and a planned long-term relationship with an institution—has increased dramatically over the past few decades. The structures of faculty governance, however, as well as AAUP policies on the subject, tend to assume a faculty that is primarily full time and on the tenure track. This report examines the issues and makes recommendations on how contingent faculty should be included in institutional governance.

The Role of the Faculty in Conditions of Financial Exigency

Recent years have witnessed massive closings of academic programs that are basic to a college or university’s curriculum, with a resulting erosion in the number and the authority of the tenured faculty.  The AAUP responded last month when its Council adopted as official policy the final text of a major report, The Role of the Faculty in Conditions of Financial Exigency.  

Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians

Statement arguing that because the scope and character of library resources should be taken into account in such important academic decisions as curricular planning and faculty appointments, librarians should have a voice in the development of the institution’s educational policy

Tenure in the Medical School

Report regarding the changing nature of academic medical centers in American higher education and the impact, evident or potential, of those changes on questions of faculty status and academic freedom within such centers.

Statement on Campus Sexual Assault

Statement reviewing the scope of the sexual harassment on campus, the frequently disappointing evidence about current campus practices and preparedness, the legal issues at stake, and giving special attention to faculty responsibilities.

Campus Sexual Assault: Suggested Policies and Procedures

The AAUP’s Committee on Women in the Academic Profession has issued a statement about the serious and continuing problem of sexual assault on campus.  The statement, adopted by the Association’s Council at its November 2012 meeting, represents the work of a subcommittee on sexual assault formed to research the issue thoroughly; meanwhile, recent events have highlighted its importance and perhaps underlined the need for its wide distribution and careful consideration. The statement, Campus Sexual Assault: Suggested Policies and Procedures, reviews the scope of the problem, cites the frequently disappointing evidence about current campus practices and preparedness, analyzes the legal issues at stake, and gives special attention to faculty responsibilities.

Recommended Principles to Guide Academy-Industry Relationships

A version of this report was completed in spring 2012 and published for comment in June 2012. Based on the extensive feedback we received and supplemented by further research, it was extensively revised for publication as a book. The 2012 draft is thus no longer appropriate for quotation or guidance. Instead, please consult this "Summary of Recommendations" from Recommended Principles to Guide Academy-Industry Relationships, a 368-page report to be published in book form by the AAUP Foundation in January 2014.

Accommodating Faculty Members Who Have Disabilities

Report on practical and legal issues involving faculty members with disabilities; it reaffirms faculty members' entitlement to due process.

 

Tenure and Teaching-Intensive Appointments

Recommendations on stabilizing the faculty infrastructure by converting contingent faculty positions to the tenure track.

Recommendations on Partner Accommodation and Dual-Career Appointments

Report making recommendations on developing sound partner-accommodation policies, which can benefit significantly from attention to AAUP faculty governance policies, especially those pertaining to faculty appointments.

Protecting an Independent Faculty Voice: Academic Freedom after Garcetti v. Ceballos

Report examining the potential impact on academic governance of the Supreme Court Garcetti v. Ceballos decision. It recommends actions to be taken in both public and private colleges and universities to preserve academic freedom in governance even in the face of judicial hostility or indifference.

On Conditions of Employment at Overseas Campuses

Statement issued jointly by the American Association of University Professors and the Canadian Association of University Teachers.  It discusses the overseas expansion of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities and makes recommendations regarding the working conditions of faculty and staff at overseas campuses.

The Use and Abuse of Faculty Suspensions

Report analyzing AAUP policy on the suspension of faculty members from teaching or research.

The Faculty Role in Regional Accreditation

Report providing encouragement and practical information to faculty members who might wish to serve on regional accreditation teams.

Regional Accreditation Standards Concerning Academic Freedom and the Faculty Role in Governance

Report compiles the principal standards currently employed by each of the seven regional accrediting commissions that relate to the faculty role in governance and to academic freedom.

Looking the Other Way? Accreditation Standards and Part-Time Faculty

Report surveys six of the different regional accrediting organizations' handbooks and selected statements relating to part-time faculty.

Institutional Accreditation: A Call for Greater Faculty Involvement

A report calling for greater faculty involvement in the accreditation of colleges and universities.

Academic Freedom and Outside Speakers

Statement examining the right of students and faculty to hear outside speakers. 

Freedom in the Classroom

Report assessing arguments made in support of recent legislative efforts to regulate classroom instruction.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Recent Trends

Report discussing recent trends regarding Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Faculty Evaluation of Administrators

Report by the Committee on College and University Governance on principles and recommended procedural standards concerning the evaluation of administrators.  The statement supplements a paragraph in Faculty Participation in the Selection, Evaluation, and Retention of Administrators (1981). 

 

Research on Human Subjects: Academic Freedom and the Institutional Review Board

2006 report addressing aspects of the federal government’s regulations for research on human subjects that constitute a threat to academic freedom.

Observations on the Association’s 1975 Statement on Teaching Evaluation

Observations by the Association’s Committee on Teaching, Research, and Publication in light of important changes to higher education in the thirty years since the Statement on Teaching Evaluation was published. Topics covered include non-tenure-track faculty appointments, the role of student evaluations in faculty personnel decisions, new technologies, and corporate forms of governance. 

 

Professors of Practice

Report addressing a category of full-time non-tenure-track faculty appointments known as “professors of practice.”  It recommends, in accordance with Association principles, that these faculty members be accorded tenure's protections.

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

Report applying principles of academic freedom to the use of electronic and digital communications in academia.

Verification and Trust: Background Investigations Preceding Faculty Appointment

Report setting forth standards that should guide academic institutions in performing background checks of prospective faculty members.

Statement on Corporate Funding of Academic Research

Report concerning the growing collaboration between industry and research universities. This relationship has been the most productive for both parties when scholars are free to pursue and transmit basic knowledge through research and teaching. The relationship, however, has never been free of concerns that the financial ties of researchers or their institutions to industry may exert improper pressure on the design and outcome of research.

On Professors Assigning Their Own Texts to Students

Statement by the Committee on Professional Ethics that addresses the practice of professors assigning their own texts to students.  Related institutional and organizational policies are also addressed.

Financial Exigency, Academic Governance, and Related Matters

Report discussing  AAUP policies concerning the role of the faculty in budgeting in good times and when an institution must deal with a financial crisis.

Academic Bill of Rights

Report discussing the Academic Bill of Rights at its potential impact on academic freedom.

Contingent Appointments and the Academic Profession

Report examing the costs to academic freedom incurred by the current trend toward overreliance on part and full-time non-tenure-track faculty.  The report recommends that for the good of institutions, of the educational experiences of students, and of the quality of education, the proportion of tenured and tenure-track faculty should be increased.

 

Academic Freedom and National Security in a Time of Crisis

Report assessing risks to academic freedom and free inquiry posed by the nation's response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Faculty Role in the Reform of Intercollegiate Athletics: Principles and Recommended Practices  

Report concerning the continuing preferential treatment of athletes with regard to admissions and scholarship aid, disappointing graduation records for athletes, and ethical breaches of academic standards by coaches, students, administrators, and faculty.

Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities and Academic Work

Statement addressing some of the current issues facing faculty members as they seek to integrate family obligations and academic work.  It recommends principles and guidelines for formulating appropriate policies and practices regarding family leaves, modified teaching schedules, "stopping the tenure clock," and institutional assistance for family responsibilities.

 

Statement on Graduate Students

Statement recommending standards that will foster sound academic policies, at universities with graduate programs, that protect graduate students’ freedom to learn and to teach. These standards have been developed to ensure that graduate education fulfills its responsibilities to students, faculty, and society.

Institutional Review Boards and Social Science Research

Report addressing the government’s rules for protecting human beings who are the subjects of social science research.  It offers suggestions for the improvement of IRB practices and recommendations.

On Collegiality as a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation

Report addressing the increasing tendency to add the criterion of “collegiality” to faculty evaluations and enumerates why this practice should be discouraged.

Statement on Copyright

Statement explaining faculty members’ basic rights of ownership of their intellectual property, prevailing academic practice, and exceptions in which colleges and universities may fairly claim full or partial ownership of works created by faculty members.

Academic Freedom in the Medical School

Report discussing academic freedom in medical schools and why it is necessary.

Post-Tenure Review: An AAUP Response

Policy discussing what post-tenure review should be and not be and its impact on academic freedom.

Statement on Distance Education

Statement that identifies problems specific to distance education and sets forth the applicable principles and procedural standards for distance education programs, including areas of responsibility, appointments, selection of materials, technical considerations, and proprietary rights.

Mandated Assessment of Educational Outcomes

Report addressing “state-mandated” assessment of higher education, including attempts to measure learning outcomes; recommendations on standards that should be observed when developing an assessment plan.

 

Institutional Responsibility for Legal Demands on Faculty

Statement recommending that colleges and universities adopt a comprehensive general policy on legal representation and indemnification for members of their faculties.

The Assignment of Course Grades and Student Appeals

Report concerning the right of an instructor to assign grades and the procedures for student appeals.

Nonreappointment & Full-Time Renewable Term Appointments

Report addressing the applicability of the Standards for Notice of Nonreappointment to all full-time faculty members on renewable term appointments.

Consensual Relations between Faculty and Students

Statement discussing professional expectations and responsibilities with respect to consensual sexual relationships between professor and student.

Sexual Harassment:Suggested Policy and Procedures for Handling Complaints

Statement proposing policy and procedures for colleges and universities that wish to formulate a statement of policy on sexual harassment that is separate from existing grievance policies and procedures.

Due Process in Sexual-Harassment Complaints

Report discussing the protections of academic due process in sexual harassment cases

On Freedom of Expression and Campus Speech Codes

Statement addressing campus speech codes and advises consideration of means more compatible with the mission of an academic institution by which to deal with incivility, intolerance, offensive speech, and harassing behavior.

On the Relationship of Faculty Governance to Academic Freedom

Report linking the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the Association's 1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities. 

The Work of Faculty: Expectations, Priorities, and Rewards

Statement assessing public discussion about the duties and obligations of the professoriate, including the size and nature of faculty workloads, and offering clarification of the roles of teaching, scholarship, and service for faculty, their institutions, and the public good, in the context of higher education’s costs and benefits.

The Ethics of Recruitment and Faculty Appointments

Statement setting standards that are intended to apply to the recruitment and appointment of faculty members in colleges and universities. They are directed to administrators and faculty members in the belief that they will promote the identification and selection of qualified candidates through a process that promotes candor and effective communication among those who are engaged in recruitment.

The Status of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

Recommendations for improving the professional status of the growing number of non-tenure-track faculty; suggests minimum standards designed to protect the professional standing of all faculty.

Statement on Collective Bargaining

Report addressing collective bargaining as an effective instrument for achieving the basic AAUP objectives of protecting academic freedom, establishing and strengthening institutions of faculty governance, providing fair procedures for resolving grievances, promoting the economic well-being of faculty and other academic professionals, and advancing the interests of higher education.

Access to Faculty Personnel Files

Report discussing access by faculty members to their own personnel files and to the files of colleagues.

On Processing Complaints of Discrimination

Report examining evidentiary issues of proof of discrimination and providing guidance to faculty, administrators, and the Association’s staff on handling complaints raising claims of discrimination. While the report was drafted specifically to address allegations of discrimination on the basis of sex, it has over the years proven useful for complaints of improper discrimination based on other attributes as well.

Statement on Intercollegiate Athletics

Statement urging reform of intercollegiate athletics. All colleges and universities would benefit from the adoption of a national set of standards that would protect athletes from exploitation and would place expenditures on and administration of athletic programs under the regular governance procedures of the institution.

Academic Freedom and Artistic Expression

Statement proposing policies that are designed to assist academic institutions to respond to the issues that may arise from the presentation of artistic works to the public and to do so in a manner that preserves academic freedom:

Statement on Plagiarism

Report discussing professional ethics and plagiarism.

Statement on Conflicts of Interest

Report concerning the many opportunities offered to both university researchers and the private sector by sweeping developments in certain areas of science and technology and the new concerns caused by these opportunities in both universities and government. 

Statement on Multiple Authorship

Statement on issues that arise when multiple authors contribute to a work.

The Role of the Faculty in the Governance of College Athletics

Statement addressing the general allocation of authority in the governance of athletics. It emphasizes the obligation of the faculty to ensure academic primacy in an institution’s athletic program.

Faculty Child Care

Statement arguing that in order for faculty members with child-rearing responsibilities to participate successfully in teaching, research, and service to their institution, they must have access to quality child-care facilities. Universities and colleges should assume a share of the responsibility for the provision of such services to their faculties.

Senior Appointments with Reduced Loads

Report recommending that colleges and universities “consider creating a class of regular part-time faculty members, consisting of individuals who, as their professional career, share the teaching, research, and administrative duties customary for faculty at their institution, but who for whatever reason do so less than full time.”

On Full-Time Non-Tenure-Track Appointments

Report reviewing and analyzing  the growing use of non-tenured positions and its implications.

Arbitration in Cases of Dismissal

Report discussing the development of arbitral practices in higher education, with particular emphasis on the question of arbitration of dismissal cases.

Recommended Procedures for Increasing the Number of Minority Persons and Women on College and University Faculty

Report reaffirming the Association’s support for affirmative action, and recommending ways to implement  it to ensure its  effectiveness and consonance with AAUP principles.

Affitmative Action Plans: Recommended Procedures for Increasing the Number of Minority Persons and Women on College and University Faculty 

Report concerning equal opportunity and the use affirmative action plans. These affirmative-action plans should include a wide range of lawful and academically sound corrective policies and procedures employed to overcome the effects of past or present barriers to equal employment opportunity.

Faculty Participation in the Selection, Evaluation, and Retention of Administrators

Statement asserting  the expectation that faculty members will have a significant role in the selection of academic administrators, including the president, academic deans, department heads, and chairs.1 As a corollary, it is equally important that faculty members contribute significantly to judgments and decisions regarding the retention or nonretention of the administrators whom they have helped select.

The Status of Part-Time Faculty

Statement offering new propositions, consistent with Association principles, to address some of the continuing problems concerning part-time faculty members.

Statement on Teaching Evaluation

Statement outlining proper teaching evaluation methods and their appropriate uses in personnel decisions. This statement confines itself to the teaching responsibilities of college and university professors and is not intended as the definitive statement on reviewing and weighing all aspects of a faculty member’s work.

On the Imposition of Tenure Quotas

Report discussing why tenure quotas are generally unwise.

Arbitration of Faculty Grievances

Report reviewing the use of arbitration for the resolution of disputes involving questions of contractual application or interpretation that may include matters of faculty status and rights.

The Role of the Faculty in Budgetary and Salary Matters

Statement defining the role of the faculty in decisions as to the allocation of financial resources according to the principle of shared authority set forth in the 1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, and to offer some principles and derivative guidelines for faculty participation in this area

Statement of Principles on Leaves of Absence

Report discussing types leaves of absence and outlining good policy. Leaves may provide opportunity for continued professional growth and new, or renewed, intellectual achievement through study, research, writing, and travel. Leaves may also be provided in appropriate circumstances for projects of direct benefit to the institution and for public or private service outside the institution. Leaves should also be granted for illness, recovery of health, and maternity.

On Institutional Problems Resulting from Financial Exigency: Some Operating Guidelines

Report discussing role of faculty and best practices in determining where reductions should be made in times of financial exigency.

Faculty Appointment and Family Relationship

Statement urging the discontinuance of anti-nepotism policies and practices, and the rescinding of laws and institutional regulations that perpetuate them.

Freedom and Responsibility

Statement addressing the ethical responsibilities that go along with academic freedom.

Statement on Faculty Workload with Interpretive Comments

Statement setting forth guidelines for determining an equitable faculty workload. This statement defines recommended maximum teaching loads for various types of institutions, as well as for part-time faculty members.

Statement on Professors and Political Activity

Statement defining rights and obligations of faculty regarding the institutional regulations of many colleges and universitiesthat govern the participation of professors in political activity and public office holding.

Role of the Faculty in the Accrediting of Colleges and Universities

Report sets forth recommended standards for the role and responsibility of the faculty in the accreditation process.

Joint Statement on Rights and Freedoms of Students

Joint statement enumerating the essential provisions for students’ freedom to learn, including guidelines related to access to higher education, rights in the classroom, student records, student affairs, and procedural standards in disciplinary proceedings.

1966 Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities

Statement calling for shared responsibility among the different components of institutional government and its specification of areas of primary responsibility for governing boards, administrations, and faculties, and remains the Association's central policy document relating to academic governance.

Statement on Professional Ethics

Statement outlining general standards that serve as a reminder of the variety of ethical responsibilities assumed by all members of the profession.

On Preventing Conflicts of Interest in Government-Sponsored Research at Universities

Statement  formulating basic standards and guidelines in this problematic area of extensive sponsored research programs of the federal government.

Committee A Statement on Extramural Utterances

Statement clarifing those sections of the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure relating to the faculty member’s exercise of freedom of speech as a citizen.

Statement on Recruitment and Resignation of Faculty Members

Statement recommending standards for the recruitment and the resignation of faculty for administrations and faculties, predicated on the assumption that proper provision has been made by employing institutions for timely notice to probationary faculty members and those on term appointments, with respect to their subsequent status.

1958 Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings

Joint statement supplementing the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure by providing a formulation of the “academic due process” that should be observed in dismissal proceedings.

Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Regulations outlining recommended institutional processes that enable institutions to protect academic freedom, tenure, and to ensure academic due process.

1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Statement promoting public understanding and support of academic freedom and tenure and agreement upon procedures to ensure them in colleges and universities. Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.