New AAUP Report On Faculty With Disabilities

By Jordan E. Kurland

At its fall meeting in November, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure approved a new subcommittee report, Accommodating Faculty Members Who Have Disabilities, for publication and wide distribution.

The rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities have been a subject of major concern, but those of faculty members with disabilities much less so. The subcommittee report, in addressing practical and legal issues involving these faculty members, reaffirms their entitlement to due process. “In promoting access and success for faculty members with disabilities,” the report states in its introduction, “the AAUP highlights the significant talents of an important group, promotes a diverse professoriate, and expands role models for students.”

Accommodating Faculty Members Who Have Disabilities has been posted online on the AAUP website and will appear in print in the 2012 Bulletin of the AAUP. In approving the new report, Committee A voted to replace the text of Regulation 4e of the Association’s Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure, “Termination Because of Physical or Mental Disability,” with “WITHDRAWN,” followed by a reference to the current report.

The subcommittee that produced the new report consisted of former AAUP counsel Ann H. Franke (chair), Michael F. Bérubé, and Robert M. O’Neil.