AAUP Updates

President Trump has attacked the credibility of a study that found some 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017, claiming falsely that the study was "done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible.”

The AAUP takes no position on the accuracy of the study. But such research can be properly evaluated only by qualified experts through open channels of review and debate. For the president of the United States to accuse scholars of political bias, without a shred of evidence, is an unacceptable assault on independent research and the academic freedom of scientists.

The announcement today by Purdue Global that it will immediately stop requiring faculty to sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition of employment is a huge victory. It  demonstrates that when faculty join together they have a powerful voice to protect academic freedom, shared governance, and higher education for the common good.

The AAUP has appointed an ad hoc committee to formally investigate apparent departures from widely adopted standards of academic governance at Maricopa County Community College. The matter stems from a February resolution of the college’s governing board that terminated a “meet-and-confer” provision of the faculty policy manual and ordered the creation of a new manual that would severely limit the participation of the faculty in institutional governance.

Remarks about gentrification and race made by Rutgers professor James Livingston on Facebook were the subject of a review by the university's Office of Employment Equity, which found that the posts were not protected by the First Amendment and furthermore violated the university’s policy on discrimination and harassment. After hearing from the national AAUP and the Rutgers AAUP/AFT chapter, Rutgers president Robert Barchi has said that the administration will reconsider its finding and convene an advisory group of First Amendment and academic freedom scholars and attorneys.

The AAUP has released a copy of a non-disclosure agreement that appears to be a condition of employment for Purdue Global employees, including instructional faculty. Last March Indiana’s Purdue University purchased the for-profit online institution Kaplan University which was rebranded as Purdue Global. The agreement, which asserts ownership the faculty’s teaching-related materials, undermines standard academic practice, violating faculty rights to their own intellectual property as well as their academic freedom.

AAUP in the News

Wed, 09/19/2018  |  Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Betsy DeVos criticized actions taken by some college administrators regarding campus free speech. But Michael Behrent, author of report on campus free-speech legislation, says that the overall problem on campus speech issues is that they’re really about defending particular political positions rather than considering the full scope of free speech on campus.

Thu, 09/06/2018  |  Lafayette Journal & Courier

Two weeks after AAUP called out Purdue Global over questions of academic freedom, the online university announced that it would scrap the four-page confidentiality agreements faculty at the former Kaplan University are required to sign before they may teach.

Wed, 09/05/2018  |  The Chronicle of Higher Education

So far, no other online institution has been found using broad nondisclosure agreements of the type Purdue University Global requires. And while Kaplan educators have spoken at consortium meetings while the NDA was in effect, that doesn’t take into account how such policies make faculty members feel about their own professionalism. What information are faculty not sharing because their employer considers that bit confidential?

Tue, 09/04/2018  |  Inside Higher Education

Rutgers University is walking back its finding that James Livingston, a professor who posted antiwhite comments about gentrification in his neighborhood on Facebook last spring, violated Rutgers's discrimination and harassment policy. An advisory letter sent to the Rutgers University AAUP chapter dissected the Office of Employment Equity's report in light of AAUP and Rutgers policies on freedom of speech

Wed, 08/29/2018  |  Inside Higher Education

The Century Foundation used a public records request to pursue details about Purdue University Global has now released details of a “policy guide” that reveal an unusual demand: the new public university forces students to arbitrate “all disputes, controversies, and claims” and to waive their right to a jury trial.

Thu, 08/23/2018  |  Indiana Public Media

Vice President of Indiana’s AAUP conference and Purdue Northwest professor David Nalbone says Purdue Global's NDA limits the way faculty share items as simple as a class syllabus. "By extension it’s going to harm students, because if faculty are not free to do their job they might be delivering substandard academic quality."

E-mail Updates

 

Upcoming Events

October 26, 2018 to October 27, 2018

A meeting of the AAUP's Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

November 16, 2018

A meeting of the AAUP's Executive Committee.

November 17, 2018 to November 18, 2018

A meeting of the AAUP Council.

Announcements

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

See open positions and learn how to apply.