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AAUP Updates

The AAUP submitted testimony in opposition of a proposed bill in the North Dakota state legislature that would effectively end tenure at two higher education institutions, with the potential to extend the policy to all public colleges and universities in the state. This bill establishes a dangerous precedent that threatens academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance and further entrenches the politicization of higher education.

Today the AAUP published an investigative report on the summary suspension and dismissal of Dr. Mark McPhail, a tenured professor of communication at Indiana University Northwest. The investigating committee found that the administration disregarded AAUP-supported standards of academic due process and violated McPhail's academic freedom.

The AAUP has appointed a special committee to look into recent attacks on higher education in the state of Florida.

The AAUP condemns the decision made by the presidents of the Florida College System to re-evaluate course offerings in order to root out any content that promotes "critical race theory or related concepts such as intersectionality." The AAUP is prepared to take necessary action against the FCS, including investigation and censure.

The AAUP has launched an inquiry into the decision of Hamline University administrators not to rehire part-time instructor Erika López Prater after a Muslim student complained about López Prater's showing an Islamic painting of the Prophet Muhammad in an art history class. Since this decision raises central questions of academic freedom, a committee of inquiry will visit Hamline's campus in February to interview the affected parties. The committee will prepare a report of its findings for publication.

The AAUP joined the AFT and AFSCME in filing an amicus brief supporting the Biden administration's efforts toward student debt relief. 

AAUP in the News

Fri, 02/03/2023  |  Inside Higher Ed

Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP, said the statement fails to "defend academic freedom or challenge the false narrative put forth by DeSantis and others that discussing important topics in the classroom is somehow akin to indoctrination."

“They’ve simply said they are ok with political interference in higher education in Florida because they did not wish to displease the governor,” she said in an email. “It would appear that they are showing they are willing to fall in line with draconian state control of higher education at the expense of the mission of the higher education institutions they oversee.”

Wed, 02/01/2023  |  Chronicle of Higher Education

By the year 2050, tenure will be either the purview of a few scholars at elite schools, or it won’t exist at all. Academic freedom will be as good as gone.

Mon, 01/30/2023  |  WRVO

"We felt a duty to unite and do something to try to save the institution. That's why we then voted for a formal censure of the Board of Trustees.," said Leonore Fleming, a philosophy professor at Utica University and the president of the Utica University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Fri, 01/20/2023  |  Tampa Bay Times

In a statement Friday, the American Association of University Professors condemned Florida’s college presidents for committing this week to root out course content promoting “critical race theory or related concepts” by Feb. 1.

“The hypocrisy is glaring, as has been the case so often recently in Florida,” the statement said. “But the danger is very real. Censorship of ideas has absolutely no place in a democracy.”

Upcoming Events

February 16, 2023

Join us to discuss the AAUP's investigation into the dismissal of Professor Mark McPhail. We'll discuss our findings as well as how the AAUP's investigative process works.

February 24, 2023

Join us for a virtual roundtable featuring contributors to the winter issue of the AAUP magazine, Academe. We'll discuss how achieving racial equity in the tenured faculty ranks will require concrete changes to tenure and promotion policies that too often devalue the work of faculty members of color, how the long-term decline in tenure density threatens the future of higher education in blue and red states alike, and how the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure sought to solve the contingency crisis of the Great Depression.

March 4, 2023 to March 5, 2023

A meeting of the AAUP's governing Council.

March 5, 2023

A meeting of the AAUP Foundation.

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