AAUP Updates

An AAUP special committee established to review the apparent pattern of politically, racially, and ideologically motivated attacks on public higher education in Florida has released a preliminary report concluding that academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance in Florida’s public colleges and universities currently face a politically and ideologically driven assault unparalleled in US history. If sustained, this onslaught threatens the very survival of meaningful higher education in the state, with dire implications for the entire country.

A new report concludes that the administration of Hamline University violated the academic freedom of Professor Erika López Prater by failing to renew her teaching appointment as a result of her use of images of the Prophet Muhammad during an art history course. The committee of inquiry found that Professor López Prater's decision to display the images was not only justifiable and appropriate on scholarly and pedagogical grounds but also protected by academic freedom.

More than 800 faculty members at Miami University in Ohio officially have a union today after the State Employment Labor Relations Board certified that an overwhelming majority of faculty cast ballots in favor of forming a new chapter of the American Association of University Professors/American Federation of Teachers.

The AAUP's governing Council has voted to censure the administrations of Collin College and Emporia State University.

Governor DeSantis’s signing of anti-DEI SB 266 today further cements the decline of Florida’s higher education system by enshrining into law culture-war-inspired censorship that will have a disastrous impact on students, faculty, and the future of education in the state.

Today, the AAUP published an investigative report concerning the termination of thirty tenured and tenure-track faculty appointments at Emporia State University. The investigating committee concluded that these terminations and other policies at ESU demonstrated "that conditions for academic governance at Emporia State are deficient."

AAUP in the News

Fri, 05/26/2023  |  Chronicle of Higher Education

"Our administration’s silence feels like a punch in the gut to those of us who are organizing against this anti-DEI, anti-truth legislation."

Mon, 05/22/2023  |  Dallas Observer

“Collin might like to pretend that the AAUP is just a little private interest club, but its principles and its good judgment about college governance has become foundational for a lot of parts of the higher education ecosystem,” Burnett said. “So, it's not only a mark against Collin College’s reputation; it can have very real consequences.”

Fri, 05/19/2023  |  Diverse Issues in Higher Ed

“We're in this really strange moment where — especially for bargaining in higher ed — it seems almost a requirement that you go on strike or at least take a strike authorization vote to win any sort of cost of living pay increases.”

Mon, 05/15/2023  |  Washington Post

“It’s basically state-mandated censorship, which has no place in a democracy,” Irene Mulvey, president of the American Association of University Professors, said. Mulvey called the bill in Florida and other legislation like it a “dog whistle appeal” to the conservative base, and part of a “coordinated campaign to maintain white supremacy.”

Wed, 05/10/2023  |  Diverse Issues in Higher Ed

“This vote is the culmination of months of intense efforts by so many people who walked the picket lines and organized with their colleagues,” Dr. Rebecca Givan, president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, said in a statement. “Because of this commitment by our members, we made major gains in these contracts, especially for the most vulnerable and lowest-paid of the people we represent. We didn’t win everything we wanted. But what we did achieve is a testament to all of us, and we’re proud of it.”

Sat, 04/29/2023  |  Columbus Dispatch

Tenure gives professors the freedom to speak, teach and conduct research about a wide variety of issues, including those that are potentially controversial, without having their jobs at risk, says Anita Levy, acting director of the AAUP's department of academic freedom, tenure and governance. For many, it's also a badge of authority or honor, distinguishing them in their field.

"Academic freedom and tenure are connected... Academic freedom requires tenure to exist," Levy said.

Upcoming Events

June 2, 2023 to June 3, 2023

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

June 9, 2023 to June 11, 2023

A meeting of the AAUP's governing Council.

July 6, 2023 to July 9, 2023

Register now for the AAUP Summer Institute, July 6-July 9 at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT.

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