Centennial Declaration

In 2015, as part of the celebrations for our centennial year, the AAUP created the Centennial Declaration and collected signatures from over 3,000 individuals who joined us in our call to trustees, administrations, and lawmakers nationwide for better colleges and universities. 

The Declaration

"Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition." 
--1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure

  1. Colleges and universities are a public good, not private profit-making institutions, and corporations or business interests should not dictate teaching or research agendas.

  2. The life of colleges and universities should reflect all dimensions of human endeavor and be built on the full and open participation of diverse faculty and students.

  3. The main aims of teaching are the dissemination of knowledge and the fostering of creativity; learning is not just about developing “job skills.”

  4. The main aim of research is to create new knowledge, and academic freedom is essential for the free search for truth and its free expression. Research is not just about enhancing the profit margins of corporations.

  5. After teaching and research, the third mission of colleges and universities is about engaging communities and addressing social disadvantage, and not just about “enterprise engagement” or “economic development.”

  6. All who work at colleges and universities are entitled to a dignified and collegial workplace free of surveillance and authoritarian dictates and to resist the degradation of their working conditions.

  7. Students are the next generation of enlightened and humane citizens, not just revenue streams or the bearers of collateral for unsustainable debt loads.

  8. Information and communications technologies are welcome tools for teaching and research but should not be used to impoverish the quality of education or reduce faculty-student contact time.

  9. College and university management should resist public education cutbacks and reverse the multiplying of senior management posts, many of which are unnecessary.

  10. Faculty shared governance is the cornerstone of any college or university that values teaching and research. The authority of faculty in hiring decisions, promotions, and curricular matters should not be compromised by donors, trustees, or administrators. Similarly, the faculty voice in budgeting, institutional planning, and other internal operations should not be marginalized.