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Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure

On Partnerships with Foreign Governments: The Case of Confucius Institutes

Allowing any third-party control of academic matters is inconsistent with principles of academic freedom, shared governance, and the institutional autonomy of colleges and universities. Confucius Institutes function as an arm of the Chinese state and are allowed to ignore these principles.

Statement on Case of Steven Salaita

A report that the University of Illinois has withdrawn a job offer to a professor in response to his controversial comments on Twitter is troubling, say AAUP leaders in a statement released today. If the report is accurate, there is good reason to fear that academic freedom has been violated.

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.

Confucius Institutes Threaten Academic Freedom

The AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure approved a statement in June that called on colleges across the United States and Canada to reconsider their partnerships with Chinese language and culture centers financed by the People’s Republic of China. Known as Confucius Institutes, these centers are subject to considerable oversight from the Chinese government that in some cases places limitations on academic freedom and threatens their scholastic integrity.

Academic Freedom Violations at Cancer Center

"For generations the tenure system has protected the freedom of faculty members to engage in research that challenges hallowed verities and opens up innovative possibilities," says Henry Reichman, chair of the AAUP's Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure.  "Nowhere is such freedom more critical than in medicine."

Summary Rejection of Professor’s Appointment Violated Principles of Academic Freedom and Tenure

“The dismissal of Professor Salaita has roiled the UIUC community and much of academia; it is one of the more significant violations of academic freedom this decade," said Henry Reichman.

Academic Freedom and Tenure: Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, A Supplementary Report on a Censured Administration

This supplementary report raises questions about the dismissal of professor Teresa Buchanan from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, which has been on the AAUP’s list of censured administrations since 2012. Professor Buchanan, a specialist in early childhood education with an unblemished eighteen-year performance record, was being evaluated for promotion to full professor when a district school superintendent and an LSU student filed complaints against her for occasional use of profanity and bawdy language. Her dean immediately suspended her from teaching, and eventually, despite a faculty hearing committee's unanimous recommendation against dismissal, the LSU board of supervisors accepted the administration's recommendation that she be dismissed. The faculty senate at LSU also condemned the administration's actions, and, represented by attorneys from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Professor Buchanan has filed a lawsuit against the university, for which the AAUP Foundation has provided financial assistance.

New Report Raises Concerns about LSU Firing

This report questions hasty actions by the administration, procedures followed, and low tolerance for profanity at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. This supplementary report on a censured administration is one of only seven such reports issued in the AAUP’s century of existence.

Nunez Community College’s Dismissal of Professor Was Likely Retaliatory

An AAUP investigative report finds the most plausible explanation for the dismissal of Professor Richard Schmitt from Nunez Community College was that it occured as a retaliatory measure, violating his academic freedom.

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