Gender and Sexuality in Higher Education

Women academics sometimes face unique challenges to their entry and advancement in the academic profession, among them potential inequities in salary and promotion rates, sexual harassment, and discriminatory treatment.

The AAUP has long focused on issues of concern to female faculty members, and has developed and issued policy statements, guidelines, workshops, and resources on equity in pay for female faculty, work/family, affirmative action, sexual harassment, and Title IX, primarily through two of its oldest committees, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the Committee on Women in the Academic Profession. In 2019 the AAUP Council, acting on the recommendation of members of the affected committees, voted to merge the Committee on Women in the Academic Profession and the Committee on Sexual Diversity and Gender Identity into the new Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Academic Profession. The merged committee will formulate policy statements, provide resources, and report on matters of interest to all those who identify as women, femme, and nonbinary, and to the academic community, addressing such issues as equity in pay, work/family balance, sexual harassment and discrimination, Title IX, and the role of gender and sexuality in rank and tenure.

Resources on Women in Higher Education

Affirmative Action | Family and Work | Gender Equity | Gender Identity | Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence on Campus | Title IX

Affirmative Action

AAUP Annual Meeting Actions

Resolution on Affirmative Action. 1997. Passed by the Eighty-Third AAUP Annual Meeting.

AAUP Policy Statements and Analysis

Affirmative Action Plans: Recommended Procedures for Increasing the Number of Minority Persons and Women on College and University Faculties. 1983.

On Discrimination. 1976.

AAUP Legal Cases Affecting Women in Higher Education. 2006.

Does Diversity Make a Difference? Three Research Studies on Diversity in College Classrooms Executive Summary. (.pdf) 2000. AAUP and American Council on Education.

Family/Work Issues

AAUP Policy Statements

Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities and Academic Work. 2001.

Other AAUP Resources

Family and Medical Leave Act: Questions and Answers. 2013. A guidebook by Saranna R. Thornton and Kathi S. Westcott.
 

Gender Equity

AAUP Policy Statements and Analysis

Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities and Academic Work. 2001.

Persistent Inequity: Gender and Academic Employment. (.pdf) By John W. Curtis, Former Director of Research and Public Policy. Prepared for “New Voices in Pay Equity” An Event for Equal Pay Day, April 11, 2011.

Gender Equity Guidelines for Department Chairs. 2008.

AAUP Faculty Gender Equity Indicators 2006. Prepared by Martha S. West, consultant to AAUP’s Committee on Women in the Academic Profession, and John W. Curtis, AAUP Former Director of Research and Public Policy. This report provides data on four measures of gender equity for faculty at over 1,400 colleges and universities across the country.

Other AAUP Resources

Gender Equity Guidelines for Department Chairs. 2008. Prepared by Ann Higginbotham, Chair, and Anita Levy, AAUP Associate Secretary, for the Committee on Women in the Academic Profession.  These guidelines provide information for department chairs on maintaining a supportive and equitable academic environment for all faculty members, and particularly women faculty, in their departments.

Paychecks: A Guide to Conducting Salary-Equity Studies for Higher Education Faculty. 2002. An AAUP guidebook. 

Organizing Women Faculty. By Martha S. West.

"The AAUP and Women." By Mary Gray. Academe 101, no. 1 (2015): 46-52. A history of the AAUP's Committee W on Women in the Academic Profession.

Gender Identity

AAUP Policy Statements

The Assault on Gender and Gender Studies. 2018.

Other AAUP Resources

"Gender on Campus." Edited by Rana Jaleel. Academe 104, no. 6 (2018). A collection of articles exploring gender on campus through the lens of intersectional solidarity.

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence on Campus

AAUP Policy Statements and Analysis

Statement on Campus Sexual Assault. 2012. The AAUP’s Committee on Women in the Academic Profession issued this statement, adopted by the Association’s Council at its November 2012 meeting.

Sexual Harassment: Suggested Policy and Procedures for Handling Complaints. 2014 revision.

Due Process in Sexual Harassment Complaints, 1994.

 Consensual Relationships Between Faculty and Students, 1995.

Other Resources

Sexual Assault on Campus. February 24, 2010. The Center for Public Integrity.

For a Victim of Rape, Silence Is No Benefit.  March 27, 2011.  The Chronicle of Higher Education. By Donna Potts.

Title IX

AAUP Policy Statements and Analysis

The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX. 2016. A report prepared by a joint subcommittee of the Association’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and of the Committee on Women in the Academic Profession. The report was approved by both committees in May 2016 and adopted by the Association’s Council in June 2016.

AAUP Comments on the Department of Education’s Proposed Title IX Regulations. An executive summary of comments submitted by the AAUP in response to proposed changes to Title IX regulations pertaining to sexual harassment and the comments as submitted. January 2019. 

Other Resources

"Compelled Disclosure—The Problem with 'Required Reporting' of Sexual Violence on College Campuses: A Compilation of Articles and Resources." 2018. Compiled by Jennifer J. Freyd.

Title IX and Race in Intercollegiate Sport. 2003. By the Women's Sports Foundation.

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