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2020 AAUP In the News

09.30.2020 | New Push for a Shift in Promotion and Tenure

Henry Reichman, chair of Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure explains that, "tenure has never been about rewarding achievement, but about protecting academic freedom." The new proposal "reflects the notion that business is a model for everything, including education," and the AAUP does not agree, he said.

09.21.2020 | The pandemic has been especially cruel to adjunct professors

The American Association of University Professors last month called on institutions to provide adjunct professors with paid sick leave, eligibility for unemployment benefits, paid training for online teaching, contract extensions, and other better working conditions during the pandemic, calling adjuncts “the tiny and invisible lines of connection between institutions and students” and warning that “the future of the profession is at stake.”

09.02.2020 | Rising on-campus infections spark concern in Georgia

The Georgia Southern University AAUP chapter released an open letter asking its administration to take steps to demonstrate its commitment to prioritize the health and safety of its university, but also of the state's residents.

08.27.2020 | Not ‘Glorified Skype’

Glenn Colby, senior researcher for the AAUP, said that “at its worst,” remote instruction might resemble something like Skype. But that’s when professors take a "banking" approach and try to "deposit" facts into students. When remote instruction is working right, faculty members treat their students like “co-investigators” -- and use new technology to foster communication among everyone in the class.

08.25.2020 | ‘Will Purdue last?’: University restarts in person amid pandemic

AAUP Purdue Chapter Leader Alice Pawley, told the Washington Post that faculty instruction, “should be about student learning, and not about the optics of ‘teaching face to face no matter what."

08.21.2020 | University of Akron faculty union survey shows concerns about financial transparency

The AAUP survey garnered 304 responses which indicated faculty felt discriminated against during the administration’s cost-saving measures: 78% said the university failed to provide the union with objective criteria used to identify which employees’ positions would be eliminated.

08.14.2020 | Tulane faculty group expresses ‘deep distress’ over reopening, according to survey

Faculty and staff of Tulane University are voicing concerns about resuming in-person classes. “There has been messaging that everybody is on board,” said Tulane professor Carola Wenk, who heads the AAUP Tulane chapter. That's not the case, she said, citing an AAUP-backed survey.

08.12.2020 | Not Expendable

Caprice Lawless, an adjunct faculty member at Front Range Community College in Colorado and the chair of the AAUP's Committee on Contingency and the Profession, said that every principle in the committee's statement is necessary, "as our colleagues are terrified of being forced to work or die, or maybe work and die."

08.04.2020 | Nearly 100 VCU faculty members call for virtual fall semester as UVA, other Va. colleges delay in-person classes

The AAUP chapter of Virginia Commonwealth University called on President Michael Rao to “immediately declare that classes for the Fall 2020 semester should be held exclusively online, except in cases where in-person education is deemed absolutely necessary."

07.30.2020 | UNC faculty urge Chapel Hill students to "stay home" in COVID-19 letter

The faculty letter originated from the Chapel Hill AAUP, which, along with the Faculty Council, also has expressed serious misgivings about UNC’s plans to reopen. “The belief that we can safely return to campus together with 30,000 students is quickly eroding,” said the letter from the chair of the Faculty Council to the UNC Board of Governors.

07.15.2020 | University of Akron cuts 178 jobs as part of cost-saving measures due to coronavirus pandemic

“For years, the university has disinvested in academics while simultaneously losing millions on its athletics programs," Akron University's AAUP chapter wrote in a position paper about proposed cuts earlier this month. “In the spirit of shared sacrifice, we believe that it’s time to move to a responsible and sustainable model of funding for athletics.”

07.01.2020 | Colleges campuses are trying to reopen in the fall. The main source of opposition? The faculty.

In a statement the University of Chicago's AAUP chapter said it was concerned about staff who can’t work remotely — such as those in libraries, dining halls and maintenance — who might not be allowed to stay at home. They also wanted to ensure that adjunct or tenure-track faculty don’t feel pressured into offering in-person classes.

06.30.2020 | Mounting Faculty Concerns about the Fall Semester

Purdue University president Mitch Daniels told CNN that Alice Pawley, associate professor of engineering education and president of the main Purdue campus’s AAUP represented a “very tiny minority” of the Purdue faculty and that she was “frankly, not from the most scientifically credible corner of our very STEM-based campus.”

06.23.2020 | After 27 Years, National Professors Group Removes Clarkson College from its Blacklist

“We’re very excited about having this removed,” said Aubray Orduña, interim president of Clarkson College. “Having that censure was not in alignment with our mission ... values and the legacy that the college has here.”

06.03.2020 | In the Rush to Bring Students to Campus, Professors Ask: What about Us?

The Washington Post speaks to three AAUP chapters, Wright State University, Purdue University and the University of Tulsa, for their perspectives on safely reopening campuses.

05.28.2020 | New Analysis of Faculty Salary and Benefits Data

Inside Higher Education covers the AAUP's Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession.

05.15.2020 | Trump administration weighs suspending program for foreign students, prompting backlash from business, tech

"Suspending or ending OPT makes no practical sense — it solves no problem, it reduces the quality of America's higher education system, and it threatens the international exchange of ideas so vital to academic freedom," said Julie Schmid, executive director of the AAUP.

05.06.2020 | Ohio University Faculty, Staff Protest Layoffs, Budget Cuts

The OU AAUP chapter has called for the administration “to cut from the top” first before faculty and staff cuts, as well as rescind and halt layoffs during the pandemic.

05.04.2020 | Ohio University Professors Pass No-Confidence Resolution in University President

The Ohio University AAUP chapter introduced and passed a resolution of no-confidence in University President Duane Nellis and Vice President of Finance Deb Shaffer after demanding that layoffs of the faculty and staff involved be reversed "until a process of true shared governance and transparency can be established and implemented."

04.15.2020 | A Requiem for Academics

The mounting death toll from COVID-19 among professors is tragic for all those whose lives are touched. And the loss of valued colleagues brings with it a loss of the institutional knowledge that helps faculty govern their institutions and departments.

04.08.2020 | Professor Pay Is Flat -- Again

Inside Higher Ed covers the annual Faculty Compensation Survey, noting that the AAUP’s data, collected before the disruption of US higher education by the COVID-19 pandemic, "will serve as important benchmarks when institutions look at faculty pay in reassessing their budgets."

04.06.2020 | Officials and Advocates Seek to Halt Title IX Rule Changes Amid COVID-19 Disruptions

The AAUP announced agreement last week with the attorneys general, stating that the COVID-19 crisis “severely constrains the ability of educational institutions’ administrations, faculty, staff and students to engage in meaningful shared governance to address new and complex Title IX regulations.”

04.02.2020 | UNH, lecturers union agree on contract

UNH Lecturers United-AAUP and the University of New Hampshire jointly announced they have reached an agreement on a new contract. The new collective bargaining agreement runs through June 30, 2022. Lecturers had been working without a contract for the past couple of years.

03.25.2020 | Right-Wing Tricksters Want to Discredit Academia by Recording Zoom Classes

The AAUP’s Hans-Joerg Tiede on exposés of liberal bias: “For all the concern these days that conservatives are expressing for free expression in universities, activities such as these seem to indicate a different interest in the suppression of views.”

03.11.2020 | Colleges Ask Students to Leave Campuses

In an article about the impact of COVID-19, AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum said he is hearing from members that decisions about closing campuses or moving instruction online “are being made without adequate faculty involvement in decision-making.”

03.02.2020 | Santa Cruz Fires Striking TAs

Inside Higher Ed cites the AAUP Council's statement of support for striking graduate student workers at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

02.21.2020 | Ohio State presidential search committee to keep finalists secret

Ohio State University’s presidential search committee intends to keep the names of job finalists concealed until it has a final candidate. "We think it’s a terrible development,” said John McNay, president of the Ohio Conference of the AAUP. University boards have adopted a more corporate style of management favoring private searches, said McNay, but as public institutions, “we’re not corporations, we’re not producing widgets. We’re trying to educate students.”

02.18.2020 | (Brief) Censorship Concerns at UW Milwaukee

The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee's University Relations department informed the UWM-AAUP chapter that an image promoting an upcoming sponsored talk, Academic Freedom in the Age of Trump, was too "partisan." But after being widely condemned by multiple groups and people on social media, the department reversed its decision a day later. 


02.08.2020 | Ohio lawmakers look at college protest limitations

The Ohio Conference of the AAUP has opposed the Open and Robust Minds Act, in testimony submitted to a Senate committee. “If legislation like this would be approved, thus taking these decisions out of the hands of the institutions, we would expect that the legislature would also provide funding to cover the costs of the crowds and necessary security that hosting controversial speakers would entail.” 

02.05.2020 | Fighting for ESL

Loyola University's AAUP chapter releases a report countering the university's justification for major cuts to its English Language Learning Program, writing that the cuts “have harmed our financial bottom line and fiscal vitality . . . and this dramatic reversal of course has taken place outside of the established channels for academic decision-making laid out in Loyola’s own procedures."

01.25.2020 | Hypocrisy called out by community college adjunct faculty

Colorado AAUP leaders write in an op-ed about the financial dire straits faced by adjunct faculty who do most of the instruction in community colleges.

01.17.2020 | Did China infiltrate University of Missouri with propaganda — with our permission?

The editorial board of the Kansas City Star quotes the AAUP's 2014 report on Confucius Institutes including our warning that “occasionally university administrations have entered into partnerships that sacrificed the integrity of the university and its academic staff."

01.16.2020 | AAUP Opposes Proposed Rule That Would Bar Grad Assistants From Organizing

Politico's newsletter covers the AAUP's submitted comments to the National Labor Relations Board scrutinizing a proposed rule that would not allow many graduate assistants to form unions.

01.10.2020 | Media Covers AAUP's In Defense of Knowledge and Higher Education

Inside Higher Education writes about our statement, In Defense of Knowledge and Higher Education.