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Due to concerns about COVID-19, the AAUP office has transitioned to telework. Please contact staff by email.

 

AAUP Updates

As part of our broader push to reform the way higher education is financed, the AAUP joined other organizations in calling for a doubling of the maximum Pell Grant and for a recommitment to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

The AAUP signed onto a reply comment addressing opposition to its previously submitted long-form comment seeking an exemption from a prohibition on circumventing technological protection measures for text and data mining (TDM) of lawfully accessed motion pictures and lawfully accessed literary works distributed electronically. The reply comment was submitted to the US Copyright Office with Authors Alliance and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week in favor of Jennifer Freyd in an appeal that the AAUP supported with an amicus brief. The appeals court found that she had alleged sufficient facts to proceed with a suit, which a lower court had dismissed, against the University of Oregon for pay discrimination based on significant pay disparities with male faculty members.

We stand in sorrow and solidarity with Asian and Asian-American communities, who are facing an escalating series of racist attacks. We condemn these attacks and the racist rhetoric that fuels them.

The AAUP wrote on March 10 to Brad Johnson, interim president of Southwest Baptist University (MO), regarding the case of Dr. Zach Manis, the institution’s only philosophy professor. The SBU administration issued notice of termination to Professor Manis without affording him academic due process and in apparent violation of his academic freedom. According to a former member of the university’s governing board, the termination was part of a purge of faculty members whose theological views were insufficiently conservative.

The AAUP submitted an amicus brief yesterday in the Oregon Court of Appeals in a case that involves the distribution of anti-union FAQs by Oregon State University. The appeal arose from an Oregon Employment Relations Board decision finding that the university had violated a state law requiring neutrality in union organizing drives.

In a major victory for graduate employees at private universities, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced today that it was withdrawing a rule proposed in late 2019 that would have barred graduate assistants from engaging in union organizing and collective bargaining under the protection of federal law.

The AAUP issued a statement on three Iowa Legislature proposals that raise troubling concerns about academic freedom and freedom of speech on campus by ending tenure protections, surveying university employees' political affiliations, and complicating campus free speech protections. The legislation proposed in Iowa would not only be unnecessary, but it could also impose on institutions potentially costly and overly bureaucratic burdens.

AAUP in the News

Mon, 03/15/2021  |  Inside Higher Ed

This is a national imperative, requiring New Deal-level funding and focus, write Irene Mulvey and Randi Weingarten.

Tue, 03/02/2021  |  Inside Higher Ed

How does making all workers contingent and expendable drive “systemic change that dismantles the status quo”? Why must so many college and university administrators insist that the only way to be fair is for everyone to expect less?

Mon, 02/15/2021  |  Chronicle of Higher Education

AAUP president Irene Mulvey says she gets that administrators want flexibility and nimbleness for hiring, “but it’s tenured faculty with academic freedom that make a great institution.”

Mon, 02/01/2021  |  Little Village

On behalf of AAUP chapters in Iowa, where a proposed bill would abolish tenure at public universities, Lois Cox and Katherine Tachau write, "Tenure is indispensable to academic freedom. It allows professors the independence to do the best work they are capable of doing without fear that they will be fired for their opinions or conclusions."

Wed, 01/27/2021  |  Philadelphia Inquirer

The new AAUP chapter at Penn plans to "fight for more faculty involvement, better working conditions for all employees — including equitable pay for all ranks and a redress of inequities in salary and promotion for women and faculty of color — and “to advocate for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

Fri, 01/22/2021  |  Chronicle of Higher Education

AAUP program officer Mark Criley raised numerous concerns about the new policy, and told the Chronicle that existing financial-exigency procedures are supposed to give faculty members an ample role in determining if that condition exists and whether there are less-drastic means of dealing with it than terminations.

Wed, 01/13/2021  |  Evansville Courier & Press

David Nalbone, president of the Indiana AAUP, argued the school is bound by certain governance guidelines, appearing in the Faculty Manual, which he says the administration appears to be violating in its push for "realignment."

Wed, 01/06/2021  |  Urban Milwaukee

"Shared governance means continuous faculty engagement in academic decision-making. When administration reserves the right to unilaterally cut faculty and entire academic programs, professors are being shut out of our voice in determining short and long-range priorities," says the Marquette University AAUP. 

Wed, 12/16/2020  |  Philadelphia Inquirer

“It’s our job to get students to learn,” said Wargo, who also serves on the executive board of Temple’s American Association of University Professors chapter. “And when our students are stressed from other things like social isolation or living at home that interfere with their learning, we are stressed.”

Thu, 12/10/2020  |  Inside Higher Ed

Women and people of color make less money and have less job security than their white, male counterparts in academe, according to a new “snapshot” analysis of 2018 federal data by the AAUP. “That these data sets predate the advent of COVID-19 is cause for true alarm and also a clear call to action,” Rana Jaleel, chair of the AAUP’s Committee on Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, said.

Upcoming Events

April 30, 2021

Over the course of the last century, the AAUP has advocated for the expansion of the protections of tenure and of the right to participate in governance to larger segments of the academic profession. Each expansion arguably served to reinforce the other and served to solidify academic freedom. This talk will give a brief overview of the historical developments that led to the AAUP's conception of tenure in 1940 and the impact of ever rising levels of contingent hiring on academic freedom today.  It will close with a discussion of the relevance of earlier conceptions of tenure to addressing the contemporary crisis of contingency in the profession.

June 14, 2021 to June 18, 2021

The AAUP will hold its shared governance conference online in June, and we are now accepting proposals for paper presentations on topics relating to academic governance.

E-mail Updates

 

Announcements

The Journal of Academic Freedom invites applications for a faculty editor or faculty coeditors for the next two volumes of the journal. Applications are due by June 1, 2021.

Due to concerns about COVID-19, the AAUP office has transitioned to telework until further notice. The best way to reach staff members is to write to the appropriate email address for the staff member or department you need to contact. Please consult the AAUP staff page for guidance. 

Did you know that the AAUP has an online career center to help colleges and universities connect with qualified applicants? 

See open positions and learn how to apply.