New Endorsers of the 1940 Statement

By Edward J. Graham

In 2014, thirty-one academic, scholarly, and educational organizations endorsed the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. The statement was jointly formulated by the AAUP and the Association of American Colleges (now the Association of American Colleges and Universities).

The 1940 Statement has served as the foundational document defining academic freedom and tenure in the United States since its original formulation, as evidenced by its widespread adoption by institutions and endorsement by educational organizations. The AAUP has subsequently issued many derivative statements that provide applications and refinements of the 1940 Statement.

The statement has now been endorsed by more than 240 scholarly societies, particularly those in the social sciences and the humanities, over the years.

Among the organizations that endorsed the 1940 Statement in 2014 are the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Society of Civil War Historians, the American Association for Ukrainian Studies, the Coordinating Council for Women Historians, the World History Association, the Labor and Working-Class History Association, and the Chinese Language Teachers Association.

“The 1940 Statement has timeless qualities that make it much more than a historical document,” said AERA executive director Felice J. Levine, in an announcement on the association’s website. “We are pleased not only to endorse these principles, but also to help commemorate the 75th anniversary of this important document in doing so.”

The influx of endorsements in 2014 coincides with the upcoming anniversary of the statement’s initial publication and with the celebration of the AAUP’s centennial.

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