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AAUP Updates

Today the AAUP published an investigative report on the summary suspension and dismissal of Dr. Mark McPhail, a tenured professor of communication at Indiana University Northwest. The investigating committee found that the administration disregarded AAUP-supported standards of academic due process and violated McPhail's academic freedom.

The AAUP has appointed a special committee to look into recent attacks on higher education in the state of Florida.

The AAUP condemns the decision made by the presidents of the Florida College System to re-evaluate course offerings in order to root out any content that promotes "critical race theory or related concepts such as intersectionality." The AAUP is prepared to take necessary action against the FCS, including investigation and censure.

The AAUP has launched an inquiry into the decision of Hamline University administrators not to rehire part-time instructor Erika López Prater after a Muslim student complained about López Prater's showing an Islamic painting of the Prophet Muhammad in an art history class. Since this decision raises central questions of academic freedom, a committee of inquiry will visit Hamline's campus in February to interview the affected parties. The committee will prepare a report of its findings for publication.

The AAUP joined the AFT and AFSCME in filing an amicus brief supporting the Biden administration's efforts toward student debt relief. 

The US Department of Education's proposal includes promising reforms that would help numerous borrowers. The proposal would lift the qualifying discretionary income cap, reduce monthly payments, and decrease time to forgiveness for those with undergraduate loans, providing much-needed relief. There is still work to do to ease the burden for all borrowers, including many graduate student and Parent PLUS loan borrowers.

AAUP in the News

Mon, 01/30/2023  |  WRVO

"We felt a duty to unite and do something to try to save the institution. That's why we then voted for a formal censure of the Board of Trustees.," said Leonore Fleming, a philosophy professor at Utica University and the president of the Utica University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Fri, 01/20/2023  |  Tampa Bay Times

In a statement Friday, the American Association of University Professors condemned Florida’s college presidents for committing this week to root out course content promoting “critical race theory or related concepts” by Feb. 1.

“The hypocrisy is glaring, as has been the case so often recently in Florida,” the statement said. “But the danger is very real. Censorship of ideas has absolutely no place in a democracy.”

Tue, 01/17/2023  |  Chicago Sun Times

“The campus is thriving, but many faculty are not,” Nicole Nguyen, a member of the union’s bargaining team and associate professor of criminology, law and justice said. “We have spent the past three years scrambling to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, and our whole community — students and faculty — are exhausted. Management needs to invest in resources that strengthen our entire community.”

Sun, 01/15/2023  |  USA Today

“Tenure is what protects academic freedom for faculty in higher education – it’s necessary so faculty can promote the free and vigorous open exchange of ideas … without fear of being fired,” said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP. “Trying to take away tenure from faculty is an age-old strategy from the totalitarian playbook to attack education to stop students from learning ideas the state disagrees with.”


Upcoming Events

February 16, 2023

Join us to discuss the AAUP's investigation into the dismissal of Professor Mark McPhail. We'll discuss our findings as well as how the AAUP's investigative process works.

February 24, 2023

Join us for a virtual roundtable featuring contributors to the winter issue of the AAUP magazine, Academe. We'll discuss how achieving racial equity in the tenured faculty ranks will require concrete changes to tenure and promotion policies that too often devalue the work of faculty members of color, how the long-term decline in tenure density threatens the future of higher education in blue and red states alike, and how the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure sought to solve the contingency crisis of the Great Depression.

March 4, 2023 to March 5, 2023

A meeting of the AAUP's governing Council.

March 5, 2023

A meeting of the AAUP Foundation.

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