1997 AAUP Resolution on Affirmative Action

Passed at Eighty-Third AAUP Annual Meeting, June 1997.

The Eighty-third Annual Meeting of the American Association of University Professors expresses its continuing concern over the reduction or elimination of affirmative action programs that have important educational benefits for all students. Actions during the past year by courts, voters on ballot measures, and university trustees, among others, have served to weaken affirmative action programs, notwithstanding the contribution of these programs to remedying past discrimination, promoting diversity among student bodies, faculty, and administrations, and improving opportunities for women and people of color. Under-representation of these groups in the academy remains a serious problem. Barriers to their full participation and advancement must be eliminated.

We remind colleges and universities that federal law, through Executive Order 11246, requires entities receiving federal contracts to maintain affirmative action plans. The plans must include affirmative action goals. Colleges and universities are legally obligated to adhere to these requirements in order to remain eligible for receipt of federal funds.

We reaffirm the Association’s continuing opposition to discrimination and our principled and vigorous support for affirmative action. We call upon the higher education community to work toward the elimination of discrimination and to maintain effective affirmative action programs.