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The AAUP office reopened on September 7, 2021. Contact information for all staff, including those working remotely or on a hybrid schedule, is available here

 

AAUP Updates

South Carolina’s House Bill 4522 is misguided legislation that would do irreparable damage to the quality of education in the South Carolina public university system by severely undermining academic freedom in the state.

On Saturday, the governing Council of the AAUP voted to remove the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from the Association’s list of censured administrations, and to add Illinois Wesleyan University to the Association's list of institutions sanctioned for substantial noncompliance with standards of academic governance.

After 50,000 public comments from borrowers and an internal audit of borrowers eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, the US Department of Education has taken a series of steps to resolve long standing issues with the troubled program. Read more about these changes and how you can potentially access debt relief.

The Build Back Better Act funds essential financial aid programs, but fails to deliver on the reforms we need. It goes without saying that we are disappointed in these developments. 

New regulations have been proposed by the US Department of Education to recognize the difficulties faced by contingent faculty in their pursuit of PSLF; while they are a huge improvement from the current program, the proposed rules must go further to meet the needs of faculty. Art historian and Pennsylvania AAUP state conference president Jessica Sponsler offered comments to the rulemaking committee during their second week of negotiations.

UF’s decision constitutes an egregious violation of faculty members’ academic freedom and is almost certainly a violation of their free speech rights as citizens. The AAUP stands in solidarity with these scholars in accordance with our mission statement to advance academic freedom in American colleges and universities. We affirm their right to provide expert testimony and will provide whatever assistance we can to support them in their efforts.

AAUP in the News

Fri, 12/03/2021  |  Capitol Beat

Eight Southern state conferences of the AAUP are asking the University System of Georgia to rescind changes in tenure policies that would essentially abolish the tenure system.

“The board’s new procedure for post-tenure review exposes faculty to censorship, ideological bias and notoriously fickle criteria like student evaluations and ‘performance,’ ” leaders of the eight state conferences of the AAUP wrote in a letter Wednesday to Teresa MacCartney, the university system’s acting chancellor. “When implemented, the University System of Georgia will no longer have tenure and, therefore, meaningful academic freedom will cease to exist.”

Fri, 12/03/2021  |  Higher Ed Dive

AAUP deemed the bill "misguided" and said it would irreparably damage the educational quality of the University of South Carolina system by undermining academic freedom. It said that "tenure is not a perk for one class of employees" but rather a safeguard against scholars being dismissed for controversial views or research.

Thu, 12/02/2021  |  Times Higher Education

The attacks on tenure are part of a broader pattern of actions in Republican-led states that includes the University of Florida trying to forbid its faculty from testifying in court cases against the state government and blocking faculty attempts to include racial equity content in curriculum.

As in Florida and other states, faculty in South Carolina are warning that such violations of academic freedom raise the risk of top researchers and educators avoiding the state or leaving if they are already there. “It wouldn’t happen all at once,” said Carol Harrison, a professor of history at the University of South Carolina at Columbia and president of the flagship campus’ AAUP chapter. Instead, if a tenure-ending bill does pass, she said, colleagues likely would “trickle away as many offers that are not currently competitive would become more so with academic freedom weighed in the balance”.

Mon, 11/22/2021  |  The State

The point of tenure is to prevent political, corporate or other interests from interfering in research or steering the curriculum, said University of South Carolina professor Carol Harrison, who serves as the president for the university’s AAUP chapter. “This is not a tenure reform bill. This is a tenure abolition bill,” Harrison said. “It would transform university education and research in really terrible ways. There is just no way to have a modern, innovative research university that is producing the knowledge, and introducing it to students and challenging students if faculty are constantly afraid they’ll lose their jobs because they run afoul of some special interest, some corporation (or) some legislator,” Harrison said.

 

Mon, 11/22/2021  |  Lincoln Journal Star

The AAUP has voted to remove the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from its list of censured administrations. UNL was sanctioned by the national organization in June 2018 after administrators removed a graduate student lecturer from her part-time teaching position without affording her a hearing before an elected faculty committee. This terminal suspension followed a viral video recording of a confrontation between the faculty member and an undergraduate student recruiting on campus for the right-wing organization Turning Point USA.

Fri, 11/19/2021  |  Philadelphia Inquirer

“I support the no-confidence measures as a way of sending a message that the relationship between faculty and the administration is damaged and needs to be repaired,” said Jim Brown, associate professor of English and president of the Rutgers-Camden chapter of the AAUP-AFT union.

Upcoming Events

June 16, 2022 to June 19, 2022

The 2022 AAUP Conference and Biennial Meeting is currently scheduled to take place in person just outside of Washington, DC.

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Did you know that the AAUP has an online career center to help colleges and universities connect with qualified applicants? 

See open positions and learn how to apply.