AAUP Updates

The AAUP’s Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure and Governance has sent a letter to the president of the University of Michigan responding to the university’s statement that it will, without providing appropriate due process, discipline John Cheney-Lippold for his decision not to write a letter of recommendation for a student.

The AAUP research department has taken a look at the data around tenure and the casualization of faculty labor. We looked at at overall trends and broke out data regarding full-time contingent faculty and part-time and graduate-student instructors. Using data drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), our findings highlight the current status of the academic labor system in US higher education.

We are very sorry to hear of the death of Robert O’Neil, a law professor and former president of the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin system, as well as the founding director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. Bob’s commitment to the AAUP spanned multiple decades and our association benefited greatly from his expertise and wise counsel.

AAUP has filed an amicus brief in support of Duquesne University faculty who have voted to form a union, arguing that widespread acceptance of AAUP guidelines about academic freedom at religious institutions illustrates a straightforward path for determining the right of faculty to organize. The case, Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit v. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), is currently before the federal court of appeals in DC.

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.

AAUP in the News

Wed, 10/17/2018  |  Inside Higher Education

Our Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure and Governance sent a letter to the University of Michigan’s president expressing concern that the university did not seem to have followed AAUP standards in punishing a tenured professor who refused to write a letter of recommendation for a student who wanted to study abroad in Israel. Additionally, the Middle East Studies Association's Committee on Academic Freedom also sent a letter expressing its concerns about John Cheney-Lippold's punishment.

Mon, 10/01/2018  |  Northeast Valley News

The Maricopa Faculty Association has filed a 13-page complaint with an accreditation body after AAUP announced opening an investigation to “formally investigate apparent departures from widely adopted standards of academic governance at Maricopa County Community College.” But Hans-Joerg Tiede, the Associate Secretary of the Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance at AAUP, said neither MCCC's administration or board acknowledged his previous inquiries about the elimination of the "meet-and-confer” provision of the faculty policy manual.

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?

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.


By action of the AAUP Elections Committee, the election for the office of AAUP Second Vice President has been set aside and a new election will be conducted.

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.