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2023 AAUP In the News

03.24.2023 | UT scientist: Killing tenure would ruin the state's research universities

Without tenure, and with restrictions on what content is or is not allowed to be taught and discussed on our campuses, the best and the brightest faculty — the research groundbreakers — will go to other states. Is that what we want for research in our state, and for Texas’s students?

03.16.2023 | 'We can’t take this lying down.' Draconian bill aimed at OSU, other colleges

Ohio Senate Bill 83, just introduced in the Ohio Senate, brings Florida to Ohio in terms of the vicious attacks on higher ed: bans on public university strikes, elimination of academic freedom, and restrictions on/prohibitions of ethnic studies, gender studies curricula.

03.09.2023 | Academics fight moves to defund diversity programmes at US universities

“When you see elected leaders demonizing educators and weaponizing education, it’s a five-alarm fire for democracy,” says Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP in Washington DC. “It important to understand that when governors attack DEI efforts, they completely mischaracterize them to create a straw-man demon that they now have to do away with."

03.09.2023 | Academics fight moves to defund diversity programmes at US universities

“When you see elected leaders demonizing educators and weaponizing education, it’s a five-alarm fire for democracy,” says Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP in Washington DC. “It important to understand that when governors attack DEI efforts, they completely mischaracterize them to create a straw-man demon that they now have to do away with."

03.07.2023 | One of US’s Largest Public Universities Could See First Strike in Its 257 Years

Over the last decade at Rutgers, intensive rank-and-file organizing translated into significant gains for our non-tenure-track faculty, who are part of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT along with tenured and tenured-track faculty. They won a decent base salary, a promotion process with corresponding salary increases, long-term contracts of up to seven years, and a robust grievance process. Now we are fighting for tenure to become accessible to non-tenure-track teaching faculty.

03.05.2023 | Florida bills would ban gender studies, limit trans pronouns, erode tenure

Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP, warned that the legislation — especially the bill that would prevent students from majoring in certain topics — threatens to undermine academic freedom.

“The state telling you what you can and cannot learn, that is inconsistent with democracy,” Mulvey said. “It silences debate, stifles ideas and limits the autonomy of educational institutions which made American higher education the envy of the world.”

02.27.2023 | National organizations condemn Florida bill that would bring major higher ed changes

"This is a gut punch to anyone who values academic freedom and higher education's role in our democracy," said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP.

02.22.2023 | Collective bargaining rights for academic workers will strengthen our public higher education institutions

Faculty on temporary contracts are effectively muzzled. They fear losing their jobs if they speak up. When the people doing the teaching can’t speak up, students lose out. Maryland legislators should allow faculty and graduate assistants the right to choose collective bargaining.

02.20.2023 | Is a Merger a Closure by Another Name?

Although the Montclair and Bloomfield administrations have expressed an aspiration to hire as many Bloomfield faculty members as possible, no clear information or offers have been extended, and the faculty isn’t due to be notified until March 1, which is four months before the closing of Bloomfield and the loss of our current jobs.

02.18.2023 | Faculty, students rally against 15 majors being cut from Utica University

It's a pretty devastating announcement for a lot of people. The response to that in terms of how our community has kind of resisted that has been fantastic. And it means so much to all of us to feel that we have this community here because that’s what we really ultimately want to preserve. We really value the importance of this institution and our different respective roles in it. And to be able to work together to try to ensure that future is something that is really valuable to us.”- Douglas Edwards, Vice-President, AAUP-Utica

02.15.2023 | Gov. DeSantis’ conservative takeover of a liberal arts college could silence diversity, critics say

Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP, said she believes DeSantis is targeting diversity programs for political advantage, which she called “extremely dangerous.”

This could result in Florida colleges struggling to retain students and recruit faculty, Mulvey said. People pursuing graduate degrees might opt for schools in other states that support academic freedom, she said.

“The consequences for students are enormous,” Mulvey said. “They are denied the opportunity to learn and grow, students are denied the opportunity to hear important perspectives. That’s the real tragedy.”

02.06.2023 | Florida is trying to roll back a century of gains for academic freedom

The gravest threat to academic freedom comes from a legal argument Florida has advanced in defense of the Stop WOKE Act. The legislation is part of a wave of “educational gag orders” banning the teaching of “divisive concepts.” Violations can trigger disciplinary action against faculty and enormous fines for their universities. In a brief filed in federal court, Florida’s lawyers contend that faculty at public universities are government employees, in-classroom speech is “government speech” and the state “has simply chosen to regulate its own speech” with the Stop WOKE Act.

02.03.2023 | Outrage follows Florida college presidents statement

Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP, said the statement fails to "defend academic freedom or challenge the false narrative put forth by DeSantis and others that discussing important topics in the classroom is somehow akin to indoctrination."

02.01.2023 | They’ve Been Scheming to Cut Tenure for Years. It’s Happening.

By the year 2050, tenure will be either the purview of a few scholars at elite schools, or it won’t exist at all. Academic freedom will be as good as gone.

01.30.2023 | Utica University faculty senate vote to censure Board of Trustees

"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.

01.20.2023 | National faculty group ‘appalled’ by Florida’s stand on critical race theory

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.”

01.17.2023 | UIC faculty union goes on strike

“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.”

01.15.2023 | DeSantis turns eye towards progressive woke war

“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.”


01.08.2023 | Conservatives take aim at tenure for university professors

Traditionally, tenured professors can be terminated only under extreme circumstances, such as professional misconduct or a financial emergency. Advocates for tenure say it is a crucial component of academic freedom — especially as controversy grows over scholarly discussions about history and identity.

Without tenure, faculty are “liable to play it safe when it comes time to have a classroom discussion about a difficult topic,” said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP.

01.04.2023 | The Great Resignation at Community Colleges

Community colleges across the country are struggling to recruit and hire new people after losing faculty and staff members in droves during the pandemic. The number of community college faculty members dropped 8.6 percent, from fall 2019 to to fall 2020, according to a report from the American Association of University Professors. Faculty members in career and technical education fields have been particularly difficult to retain as private sector employers offer higher pay to fill their own workforce gaps.

01.03.2023 | Muzzled by DeSantis, Critical Race Theory Professors Cancel Courses or Modify Their Teaching

As fewer faculty members are protected by tenure, they’re finding it harder to resist laws that ban certain racial topics. Their students suffer the consequences.

“I’m completely unprotected…Somebody sees the course catalog, complains to a legislator — next thing I know, I’m out of a job.” “This is what I teach. This is what I study. There’s tremendous value in students learning about these things.”