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The Rollins College Inquiry of 1933 and the AAUP’s Struggle for Shared Governance at Small Colleges

By Jack C. Lane

Abstract:

This essay explores a moment in AAUP history—May 1933—when the Association sent Arthur O. Lovejoy, its acclaimed founder and leader to investigate an incident at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. The AAUP dispatched its most esteemed representative to this relatively obscure college, I argue, because it saw an opportunity to confront one of the most intractable obstacles it faced: the proprietary governance practices of small college administrations, a hierarchical tradition that led most of them to implacably oppose AAUP principles. This was especially true of college administrations’ refusal to countenance shared faculty governance, a principle the AAUP had come to consider essential to the implementation of and preservation of academic freedom and tenure

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