Academic Freedom

Letter Urges Legislature To Restore Funding

Penalizing state educational institutions financially simply because members of the legislature disapprove of specific elements of the educational program is educationally unsound and constitutionally suspect: it threatens academic freedom and the quality of education.

More than MOOCs

On August 13, 2013, William C. Powers, the president of the University of Texas at Austin, sent out a campuswide e-mail about educational technology. While campuswide e-mails seldom make news, this one did because few university presidents ever address this particular subject. “Rapidly advancing technology is changing virtually every aspect of our lives,” Powers wrote, “and education is no exception. The changing landscape presents challenges, but it also gives us great opportunities.

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

This revised report brings up to date and expands upon the Association’s 2004 report on the same topic, while affirming the earlier report’s basic principles. Academic freedom, free inquiry, and freedom of expression within the academic community may be limited to no greater extent in electronic format than they are in print, save for the most unusual situation where the very nature of the medium itself might warrant unusual restrictions,

The American Tradition Institute v. Rector & Visitors of the University of Virginia & Michael Mann, 287 Va. 330 (Va. April 17, 2014)

In this case the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a professor’s climate research records were exempt from disclosure as academic research records, as AAUP argued in an amicus brief submitted to the Court. The Court explained that the exclusion of University research records from disclosure was intended to prevent “harm to university-wide research efforts, damage to faculty recruitment and retention, undermining of faculty expectations of privacy and confidentiality, and impairment of free thought and expression.” While the decision was limited to a Virginia statute, it provided a strong rationale for the defense of academic records from disclosure.

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

On Thursday, June 12, 2014, the AAUP’s One Hundredth Annual Meeting convened in Washington, DC. Hank Reichman, chair of the AAUP’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, delivered the meeting's opening plenary address—“Can I Tweet That? Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications”—on the impact of digital documentation and communication on academic freedom.

AAUP Takes UIUC to Task for Apparent Summary Dismissal

Actions taken against professor Steven Salaita appear to amount to summary dismissal, which is categorically inimical to academic freedom and due process, says a letter sent today to UIUC chancellor Phyllis Wise.

On Trigger Warnings

A current threat to academic freedom in the classroom comes from a demand that teachers provide warnings in advance if assigned material contains anything that might trigger difficult emotional responses for students.

A Century of Change

Chief among the Association’s concerns since 1915 has been the protection of academic freedom. This essay offers thoughts on how things have been going and where they may be headed with that critical task. I have been associated with the AAUP for about a third of its history as, at various times, a staff member and volunteer.

Denial of Entry to Professor Troubling

The administration of NYU has maintained that its Abu Dhabi campus will observe the AAUP’s principles on academic freedom and that all faculty and students will be free to enter and leave the country without undue restriction. Professor Ross’s experience raises considerable doubt about these claims.

Victory for Academic Freedom at University of Arizona

A recent court decision from Arizona affirms the AAUP’s continuing support for the academic freedom rights of faculty members engaged in research by contesting intrusive public records requests.

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