Lieberwitz to Serve as General Counsel

By Edward J. Graham

Risa L. Lieberwitz has been appointed to serve as AAUP general counsel for 2014–16. Lieberwitz is a professor of labor and employment law in the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she has been on the faculty since 1982. She is a member of the executive committee of the Worker Institute at Cornell and a co-director of the Cornell University Law and Society minor. From 1979 to 1982, she was an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in the regional office in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lieberwitz is an expert
on academic freedom, with published articles including “University-Industry Relations in the U.S.: Serving Private Interests,” in Academic Freedom In Conflict: The Struggle Over Free Speech Rights in the University (James L. Turk, ed. 2014), “Faculty in the Corporate University: Professional Identity, Law, and Collective Action,” in the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy (2007), and “Confronting the Privatization and Commercialization of Academic Research: An Analysis of Social Implications at the Local, National, and Global Levels,” in the Indiana Journal 
of Global Legal Studies (2005). She has been active in the Cornell Faculty Senate and has served on special committees on academic freedom, shared governance, and standards for university-industry relations. Lieberwitz served on the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure from 2012 to 2014.

“At its one hundredth anniversary, the AAUP remains the preeminent voice for the rights
of faculty in higher education,” Lieberwitz says. “The AAUP has been steadfast in its mission to protect academic freedom and due process through its policy work and investigations in support of academic freedom and shared governance, representation of faculty in collective bargaining, and legal advocacy in the courts.”

Lieberwitz will work closely with the AAUP’s legal staff to pursue Association activities, which include advising on higher education legal issues; preparing amicus briefs; monitoring legal developments in higher education around the country; and keeping the Association apprised of new and emerging legal issues that may have implications in areas such as academic freedom, labor and employment law, freedom of expression, and intellectual property rights.