2017 AAUP In the News

12.29.2017 | Professor Resigns after Year of Threats

Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher resigned after a year of enduring unrelenting harassment and death threats for his controversial tweets. He stated, "They will continue to attack me and many others, but from these attacks new unities spring dialectically forth: an upsurge in new AAUP chapters and the establishment of the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN), among others." Dozens of incidents of harassment against professors have been reported on college campuses in the past year, with African American professors among those most targeted, according to the AAUP.

12.28.2017 | Death Threats Are Forcing Professors Off Campus

Dan Lieberman speaks with professors George Ciccariello-Maher and Johnny Williams about targeted harassment and academic freedom. The AAUP has tracked more than 100 incidents of targeted harassment against professors have over the past year.

12.11.2017 | College Coaches Collect Millions When Schools Want to Get Rid of Them

Sixty-one words detail the bill for UCLA to fire the coach without cause: "Eighty percent of the Base Salary and Talent Fee remaining to be paid ... " David Teplow, a UCLA neurology professor and president of the school's AAUP chapter said, "there is something quite bizarre about athletic coaches being paid millions of dollars in salary each year while those whose jobs are to educate young men and women, and in my case, to make breakthroughs in medicine and science, must struggle to run our laboratories..."

12.11.2017 | Part-Time Profs Seek Cash for Holiday Breaks

For most of the instructors at Colorado's community colleges, the holidays offer not a respite, but a time of great anxiety and financial strain, with no cash coming in and looming uncertainty over the number of courses they might be hired to teach in the months or years to come. AAUP's second vice president Caprice Lawless said, "We're getting less than a living wage, and winter breaks are especially tough. ...

12.09.2017 | How SCAD Sells a Dream

This in-depth article discusses how at Savannah College of Art and Design, a cult of personality benefits its president, who in 2014 made $9.6 million. The AAUP censured SCAD's administration in 1993.

12.08.2017 | A Leader’s ‘Most Unprofessional Display’

A leadership struggle at the top of the College of Saint Rose, in Albany, N.Y., has been thrust into the spotlight after several members of the small private college’s Board of Trustees, including its board chair, resigned in recent weeks. The AAUP censured the institution in June of 2016.

12.08.2017 | Report Roll Call

The AAUP says in a new report that it finds “troubling threats to academic freedom” in the physical and natural sciences that have been exacerbated by the Trump administration.

12.08.2017 | Report on the 'Assault on Science'

The AAUP's new report says that science has been increasingly politicized in the Trump era and questions, among other things, various Trump administration appointees to federal agencies founded in science, Congressional moves to curb research on climate and other topics, and President Trump’s various travel bans. Such bans “create a chilling environment for the international exchange of scholars, including scientists whose work may have no obvious political implications,” the report says. It also notes six instances in which Chinese or Chinese American scientists based in the U.S.

12.08.2017 | AAUP Will Investigate UNL for Allegedly Violating Lecturer's Due Process

A committee from the AAUP will conduct a site visit next month to investigate whether or not the University of Nebraska-Lincoln violated the academic due process of a lecturer removed from the classroom.

12.05.2017 | Conservative Affirmative Action

Visits to college campuses include conversations with faculty and a profile of Turning Point USA, creator of the Professor Watchlist. One Nebraska professor says, "Turning Point USA is not a grassroots movement. It's a billionaire-funded astroturf movement."

11.30.2017 | Why We're Striking Against Columbia College

Diana Vallera, board member of the Illinois AAUP and part-time professor at Columbia College Chicago writes, "Columbia was founded upon the idea that students "learn to do by doing" and that faculty should be well-versed in the requirements of their profession rather than abstract theory. ... The administration must value students enough to funnel resources into experienced faculty and a well-developed curriculum, not administrators' salaries. We are fighting to return Columbia to an institution that focuses on students rather than profits."

11.30.2017 | University of Nebraska Faculty Confronts Attacks on Academic Freedom

Over 200 University of Nebraska faculty members have taken a stand against what they see as an attack on academic freedom. In an open letter written by a group of concerned faculty members from across multiple academic departments, it alleges that “improper exertions of influence by the legislative and executive branches of the state government” have shaped decisions that will impact the future of the University of Nebraska system.

11.29.2017 | Scapegoating a Department?

University of Nebraska professors want board to defend them against Republican politicians who, after incident with lecturer, have launched a series of salvos against English faculty members and the entire institution. “We insist that all levels of the administration respect the governance structures currently in place, and categorically reject political interference in the good work being done at our state’s flagship institution," reads an open letter to the regents signed by more than 100 faculty members with the AAUP from the university’s three campuses. 

11.29.2017 | Members of Penn State Community Engage in Nationwide Protest Against Proposed Tax Plan

A group of Penn State students, alumni and State College residents met in front of the Allen Street gates as part of a nationwide rally to protest the graduate student tax, hosted by the American Association of University Professors. The proposed tax plan includes a $1.5 trillion corporate tax cut and a giant tax hike on graduate students and would double or even triple many students’ taxes, making graduate school an unaffordable proposition except for those already independently wealthy, said Michelle Rodino-Colocino, who organized the event and acts as the president of Penn State's chapte

11.29.2017 | Penn State Graduate Students Rally Against GOP Tax Plan

A group of Penn State graduate students and members of the university’s chapter of the AAUP gathered at the Allen Street Gates on Wednesday to rally in opposition to the GOP tax bill.

11.22.2017 | When ‘Collegiality’ and Evaluating Faculty Collide

Proposed changes to policies that govern tenure, promotion, and faculty dismissals within the University of Arkansas system included language that moved professors there to quickly mobilize in opposition last month. Among the concerns is what faculty see as a thinly veiled attempt by the Board of Trustees to use collegiality as grounds for terminating a tenured professor. The AAUP has long opposed using collegiality as an explicit factor for evaluating faculty and makes the case that it poses a threat to academic freedom. 

11.22.2017 | AAUP Files Brief in Challenge to Campus Carry

The AAUP filed a joint amicus brief this week in support of a legal challenge to a Texas law permitting handguns on public college and university campuses, including classrooms.

11.21.2017 | Professors Argue That EMU Deal to Boost Online Classes Dilutes Value of Degree

Professors at Eastern Michigan University are pushing back against an arrangement between EMU and the for-profit company Academic Partnerships, raising questions about shared governance, corporatization, and quality education.

11.20.2017 | Despite Continued Protests, U of L Presidential Search Remains Closed

In the face of mounting opposition to a closed search for the University of Louisville’s next president, the school’s board doubled down on its decision Monday. Susan Jarosi, president of the U of L AAUP, opened discussion on the topic during a meeting Monday with a review of 18 letters she said constituents sent to the board. She said there have been missteps in the search so far, warning the decision to keep the search closed would be divisive.

11.17.2017 | Doing Away With Departments

The new chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has big plans to eliminate all departments across campus, in the name of “synergy” and cost savings. Many professors question his motives and doubt it’s the right move. Joerg Tiede, associate secretary of academic freedom, tenure and governance at the AAUP, said Montemagno’s plan appears to be a “rather serious governance concern.” Under widely accepted principles of institutional governance, he said, any important decision about departmental structure should be made “in concert with the faculty.”

11.16.2017 | Big Ban on Campus

Professors have long been political targets. But a spate of recent threats against scholars — including two that have led to campus closures — is raising fresh concerns about safety and academic freedom.

11.15.2017 | Professors Are Losing Their Freedom of Expression

Howard Gillman, chancellor and professor of law and political science at the University of California at Irvine, and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law write, "With so much attention focused on whether controversial speakers such as Milo Yiannapoulos or Richard Spencer should be allowed to appear on campus, an even more basic issue has been obscured: universities punishing faculty who, outside of professional settings, express views that are considered controversial or even offensive." They reflect on earlier purges of faculty l

11.14.2017 | GOP Tax Plan Could Cost Graduate Students Thousands Of Dollars, Undermine Research

The House Republican tax bill is up for a vote this week and it's got the attention of several groups who are opposed to the legislation. One group that may be particularly impacted: graduate students.

11.09.2017 | WSU Faculty Union Creates Strike Plan to Use If Deal Isn't Reached

Workers in the AAUP's Wright State University faculty union unanimously voted to adopt an amendment creating the option to call for a strike if a deal on a contract is not reached with the school’s administration. AAUP-WSU president Martin Kich said before this week, there was no reason for a procedure to exist, and it remains a last resort.

11.08.2017 | The Wrong Kind of Famous

AAUP governing Council member Jonathan Rees discusses social media harassment and academic freedom. 

11.07.2017 | Responding to Right-Wing Attacks

Dana Cloud, one of many professors targeted by right-wing groups and harassed online, encourages faculty to get organized, joining with the AAUP and faculty unions, as well as other field-specific, national and international organizations and national and international organizations.

11.02.2017 | Faculty Clash with Rider University Administration Over Layoff Notices, Sale Process at Westminster Choir College

Faculty at Westminster Choir College joined together Thursday to express their frustrations after receiving layoff notices from Rider University in the midst of the school’s negotiations with an unnamed third-party buyer to take over the Princeton campus next year.

10.30.2017 | Virginia Tech Provost Announces Resignation in Wake of Faculty Unrest

Amid criticism from faculty, Virginia Tech Provost Thanassis Rikakis is resigning to accept a university role as Presidential Fellow for Academic Innovation and as a tenured professor, the school announced Monday. The local AAUP chapter was one strong critic. They conducted a survey that concluded, “Faculty confidence in the provost’s leadership has reached an alarmingly low point. This negatively impacts morale, motivation, and retention efforts.”

10.27.2017 | University of Chicago Graduate Students Vote to Unionize

In a formal election, the University of Chicago graduate workers affirmed Graduate Students United (GSU) as their collective union. This outcome “means that a strong majority of the students want a say in decisions on campus,” says Daniela Palmer, a sixth year University of Chicago evolutionary biology graduate student, Legally, [it] means that we now have the power to bargain collectively in good faith with the university.” AAUP-CBC chair Paul Davis said, "It should be a message to graduate students everywhere that it is possible."

10.26.2017 | Campus Equity Week Sparks Conversation About Working Conditions of Adjunct Professors

As the nationwide observation of Campus Equity Week begins, the UConn-AAUP works to raise awareness about the working conditions of adjunct faculty members.

10.25.2017 | AGB Urges Trustees to Back Shared Governance

The Board of Directors of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges released a statement reminding trustees of the importance of shared governance. "In higher education’s volatile environment, shared governance is essential," the statement says. "It adds substantial value to institutional progress and innovation.

10.20.2017 | Trinity College American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Chapter Encourages Academic Freedom and Quality Education

Cheryl Greenberg, co-president of the Trinity College AAUP, discusses the value of working together on campus. She said, "We have already seen the power of both a unified faculty voice and of a national organization in the reassertion of academic freedom at Trinity. All over the country, the national AAUP and its local chapters protect faculty interests when we cannot do so as individuals.

10.20.2017 | University of Chicago Grad Students Vote to Unionize

University of Chicago graduate employees, who teach and research while earning advanced degrees, voted to affirm their union. They have joined together with the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), AFT and the AAUP. 

10.19.2017 | GSU Celebrates Win, Admin Says Legal Fight Continues

University of Chicago graduate workers have voted to unionize by an overwhelming margin, a result that validates Graduate Students United (GSU)’s years of organizing and deals a major blow to the administration’s anti-unionization efforts. “Everyone is just so pumped and happy today. It feels great,” sixth-year evolutionary biology student Daniela Palmer said after the votes were counted.

10.18.2017 | Academic Freedom in the Age of Trump

Bill Moyers and Joan Scott, member of the AAUP's Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, talk about the thorny issue of free speech on campus. Scott said, "It’s up to those of us in the academy who care about the universities and who love the teaching that we do, to somehow keep open that space of critical thinking and the pursuit of knowledge and the search for truth — to keep that space open and protected from the forces that would destroy it."

10.13.2017 | Sports Shut Out NIU Faculty

Howard Bunsis presented to Northern Illinois University and said, “There is no doubt in my mind that tuition is higher than it should be, and staff salary is lower than it should be, and athletics is the No. 1 problem.”

10.13.2017 | A Professor Is Placed on Leave After an Internet Furor and Threats. What Happens to the Students?

Many of the students who take George Ciccariello-Maher’s classes don’t care what he posts on social media, though many people on the internet do. Those outsiders are so passionate that they have threatened to attack the associate professor of politics at Drexel University over his comments about race and the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Students express feelings that their academic rights have been violated by the action of suspending the professor. The AAUP is in touch with the university about these academic freedom concerns.

10.10.2017 | Why Colleges Are Borrowing Billions

Despite budget cuts at public universities, sluggish endowment growth at private ones, and falling enrollments everywhere—colleges and universities have continued to build new facilities at record-setting rates. Howard Bunsis, professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University and AAUP Council member said, “Borrowing is not necessarily bad. What matters is what you’re borrowing the money for.”

10.10.2017 | Conservatives are the Real Campus Thought Police Squashing Academic Freedom

Tenured Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher comments on having been placed on administrative leave after the media "outrage machine" that publicized his social media posts about the Las Vegas mass shooting generated a large volume of hate mail and death threats. He writes, "By bowing to pressure from racist internet trolls, Drexel has sent the wrong signal: That you can control a university’s curriculum with anonymous threats of violence."

09.29.2017 | Supreme Court Case Is Threat to Public Unions

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that could limit the ability of public-sector unions to collect fees. AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum said, "We are facing unprecedented attacks, through the courts and through legislation, on our freedom to join together in union and work together to set standards that create better universities and colleges. We anticipate submitting an amicus brief arguing that fair-share fees are constitutional. And our chapters will continue to organize to defend higher education as a public good."

09.28.2017 | Facing Poverty, Academics Turn to Sex Work and Sleeping in Cars

The shamefully low wages paid to adjunct faculty can lead to precarious living situations. “Most of my colleagues are unjustifiably ashamed,” says AAUP vice president Caprice Lawless. “They take this personally, as if they’ve failed, and I’m always telling them, ‘you haven’t failed, the system has failed you.’”

09.26.2017 | Sessions’ Justice Dept. Will Weigh In on Free-Speech Cases. What Should Campuses Expect?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at Georgetown Law regarding free speech.

09.11.2017 | (Un)Shared Governance

Non-tenure-track faculty members contribute to their colleges and universities in many ways, and they should not be excluded from serving on faculty senates, say Neal Hutchens and Willis Jones. The AAUP and the AGB have both called for increased participation of non-tenure-track faculty in institutional governance, including those with part-time appointments.

09.10.2017 | What It Feels Like When a Professor’s Comments Ignite a Fury

Faculty members find their words and actions the subject of scrutiny and, increasingly, targeted harassment. “You have First Amendment rights in the state of Connecticut . . . but you also have, in academia, academic freedom,” said Johnny Eric Williams, a sociology professor at Trinity.

09.10.2017 | Editorial: U. Should Improve Paid-Leave Policies

The best way for Rutgers to keep its qualified employees is to provide for them. This includes being more flexible with paid leave. The AAUP-AFT recognizes that there are many advantages to the policies already put in place, but has expressed the concerns that certain aspects can be improved greatly.

09.08.2017 | Who Are the Candidates?

National and local experts refute Elon University’s argument for secrecy, saying it should publicly announce the names of its presidential finalists.  The AAUP's Jim Bissett and Michael DeCesare weigh in.

09.07.2017 | Groups Take Stand Against 'Harassment' in Higher Ed

The AAUP, AFT and AAC&U say a “disturbing trend” has emerged in higher education involving individual faculty members have been singled out for campaigns of harassment in response to remarks they made — or are alleged to have made — in public speeches, on social media or in the classroom. They call on university leaders and members of governing boards to reject outside pressures to remove or discipline faculty members whose ideas or commentary may be provocative or controversial and to denounce in forceful terms these campaigns of harassment.

09.07.2017 | Call to Stand Up for Targeted Faculty Members

The AAUP, AFT and AAC&U ask college and university presidents, members of governing boards, and other academic leaders to endorse their stance and “resist” harassment campaigns by “making clear to all in their respective institutions that threats to individual members of the academic community, to academic freedom and to freedom of expression on campus will not be tolerated.”

09.07.2017 | 3 Organizations Assert Support of Faculty Free Speech

As the school year begins at most college campuses, three major academic organizations are making clear their commitment to free speech for university professors.

09.06.2017 | Tentative Agreement Reached Just Before Midnight

WMU faculty reached a tentative agreement for a new contract after negotiations.

09.05.2017 | AAUP, Admin Finally Reach Tentative Agreement

Working men and women at Rider University negotiated a contract with the administration.

09.01.2017 | Editorial: University of Tampa Overreacts to Offensive Tweet

The university and lecturer Storey came to some agreement Thursday after the AAUP stepped in and raised the obvious question about academic freedom. "It's an unsettling end to a manufactured crisis made worse by the university focusing on public relations instead of an individual's free speech rights."

09.01.2017 | Update: UT professor initially fired over Harvey tweet resigns instead

The AAUP urged the administration of the University of Tampa to rescind the firing of Kenneth Storeyafter a controversial tweet. They did this and he resigned.

08.30.2017 | A Dartmouth Professor Gets Unfairly Chastised by College for Comments about ANTIFA

Dr. Mark Bray, a lecturer at Dartmouth University quickly emerged as the expert on ANTIFA and spoken on a number of cable news outlets and Sunday talk shows.

08.30.2017 | Termination for Harvey Tweet

Visiting assistant professor of sociology, Kenneth Storey, sparked controversy with a tweet and was swiftly dismissed. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said, “We would expect a visiting faculty member, a tenure-track faculty member or a tenured faculty [member] to receive a faculty hearing prior to a dismissal."

08.30.2017 | Are Rider U. Professors Headed for a Strike Over Contract Dispute?

The AAUP union chapter at Rider University comprised of about 600 professors, librarians and coaches is preparing for the possibility of a strike if negotiations with the administration are unsuccessful.

08.30.2017 | Free Speech on Campus? Not for Adjunct Faculty, It Seems

Without tenure, it’s easier for universities to dismiss you outright or choose not to rehire someone. Still, according to the AAUP and principles that are widely adopted across higher education, the expression of an opinion is not grounds for firing unless “it clearly demonstrates the faculty member’s unfitness for his or her position.” That goes for tenured and non-tenured professors.

08.30.2017 | Dartmouth Lecturer Accused of 'Endorsing Antifa Violence' Gets Support After Death Threats

A Dartmouth lecturer has reportedly been receiving death threats after a right-wing organization accused him of endorsing Antifa violence, and his colleagues are coming to his defense after the university disavowed him. The AAUP also weighed in on the controversy and said that Dartmouth should stand behind it's faculty.

08.29.2017 | Graduate Student Unionization Gains Support at Penn State

For years, Penn State graduate students have been working together to achieve good working conditions and working for formal union recognition. On Monday, the Penn State chapter of the AAUP sent Penn State President Eric Barron, Provost Nick Jones, Vice Provost Dean Regina Vasilatos-Younken and the university trustees a letter supporting the Coalition of Graduate Employees. The letter says that the CGE should be permitted “to hold elections without interference from the university administration.”

08.28.2017 | A U.S. University Cuts Itself off From Cuba

Under pressure from Cuban exile leaders worried that a research institute known for taking a hardline stance toward the Castro regime might change focus, the University of Miami announced that it will not enter into any institutional agreements with Cuba's government or its universities. The AAUP's Greg Scholtz said, “What troubles me is there’s no trace of any faculty involvement in any of these decisions. One of the ways in which the quality of higher education is preserved as we understand it is by preserving institutional autonomy.

08.27.2017 | Social Media Harassment Targets Academics of Color

Social media has been a boon to academics but has also put them at risk of harassment. Many academics of color who experience the cost of sharing their views and scholarship on social media. The AAUP has spoken out about harassment as an issue of issue of free speech and academic freedom and calls for colleges and universities to take a stand in protecting their faculty members from the consequences.

08.14.2017 | The Free Speech Hypocrisy of Right-Wing Media

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's opinion column points out the right-wing media is obsessed with the supposed stifling of “free speech” on college campuses, but it seems to care only about protecting speech it likes. 

08.14.2017 | Why Charlottesville?

Robert M. O’Neil, a former president of the University of Virginia and former AAUP general counsel, considers why the protests occurred in that university town.

08.14.2017 | The Grading Policy That Never Was

Conservative websites publicized and mocked a syllabus offering to let students grade themselves. Syllabus was pulled. But professor says he never intended the statement as more than a way to start a conversation. AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum said, "It certainly seems that the administration was more concerned about its public image than it was about insuring that faculty have academic freedom."

08.13.2017 | A War Over Wolves

Senior faculty member Robert Wielgus's wolf study made national news and he found himself crosswise with ranchers, lawmakers and WSU administrators—and their lobbyists. Donna Potts, president of the local AAUP chapter, the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy group for academic freedom, said, “It was very disturbing; I had never seen anything like it."

08.09.2017 | OPINION: Trump's Justice Dept. "Would Better Serve Students by Focusing on Legitimate Threats to Students' Civil Rights"

Neal Hutchens, member of the AAUP's Litigation Committee, writes regarding affirmative action, "any effort to investigate and sue institutions over race-conscious admissions practices would needlessly wade into a well-settled area of law where colleges and universities must already satisfy a high legal burden" and the DOJ "would better serve students by focusing on legitimate threats to students’ civil rights."

08.09.2017 | University of Chicago Grad Students to Hold Union Vote

Over 2,500 University of Chicago graduate workers will proceed with a union vote in October. They will work and join with the AAUP and AFT. 

08.07.2017 | Adjuncts Under Fire?

Cases at California State University, Fresno, Rutgers and Essex County College are highlighted. Hank Reichman weighs in. 

08.04.2017 | Costs Balloon in Effort to Fix U of L, but Officials Not Asking for Receipts

The University of Louisville’s publicly funded forensic audit was meant to lay bare the scandals and secrets that have plagued the school’s nonprofit foundation for years. The audit did expose systemic problems when it was released in June, prompting promises of reform and possible lawsuits to recover misspent money. The cost of the investigation has grown to $2.2 million.

08.04.2017 | The State – Not the Faculty – Is Failing the CSU and Our Students

Jennifer Eagan, professor at CSU East Bay and president of the California Faculty Association writes, "The state – not the faculty – is failing the CSU and our students. The Bee’s editorial board should stop trying to distract us from the real outrage: the state’s disinvestment in the CSU, which has resulted in our students and their families suffering increased cost and more debt."

08.02.2017 | Groups Vow to Defend Affirmative-Action Policies in U.S. Universities, Colleges

American higher education and civil rights groups vowed to fight any efforts to limit affirmative-action policies in universities and colleges a day after reports said the DOJ was seeking to investigate and possibly sue institutions over some aspects of the practice. The AAUP will vigorously defend the value of diversity. AAUP general counsel Risa Lieberwitz said, “When I have a class that is diverse in many ways, it makes for a rich discussion and we have multiple ways of looking at things. It’s a better class."

08.02.2017 | What People Get Wrong About Affirmative Action

Myths about affirmative action are debunked by Risa Lieberwitz, AAUP general counsel.

08.01.2017 | Trinity Loses Donations, Students After Facebook Posts

The Trinity AAUP chapter responded, "Trinity President Berger-Sweeney’s recent statement confirms our suspicion that the administration's primary concern has been the bottom line, rather than the protection of scholarly inquiry and academic freedom. ... We remain troubled by the continued failure by the administration to actually defend Professor Williams from outside attack, or to acknowledge their own mishandling of the events." 

08.01.2017 | Did a Community College Plan to Pass More Students Fail Its Teachers?

A deep dive into the Colorado Community College System, including the recent incident with adjunct Nate Bork. The AAUP's Caprice Lawless describes how an emphasis on boosting enrollment and retention at community colleges is driving veteran teachers away and Nate draws out the impact on students.

07.31.2017 | UNC Board Should Remember UNC Mission

AAUP's Rudy Fichtenbaum and Michael DeCesare call on the UNC board of governors to cease its interference with the work of the Center for Civil Rights, which serves the mission of UNC and in the service of the broader community.  They write,"Such a brazen attempt ... to prevent the center from continuing to engage in litigation on behalf of North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens, is an affront to principles of democracy. It is also a deeply troubling departure from longstanding principles of academic freedom and institutional governance."

07.31.2017 | Campus Free Speech Laws Ignite the Country

North Carolina is the latest state to have a law on free speech on college campuses. In most cases, the passed and proposed legislation builds off a legislative framework proposed by the conservative Goldwater Institute. The AAUP's Hank Reichman said, "We don't think these legislative remedies are the way to go ... Our concern is that in many of these laws the proposals are one-sided. They are more about the restriction to demonstrate than the right to speak."

07.28.2017 | UNC Board of Governors May Bar Civil Rights Center from Litigation, Raising Questions About the Role of Law Schools and Academic Freedom.

The University of North Carolina School of Law's Center for Civil Rights has long been a thorn in the side of the state government from its perch in Chapel Hill, as it sometimes files and joins in on lawsuits against the state. Sherryl Kleinman, a professor of sociology at UNC Chapel Hill and AAUP member, said, "Law clinics engage in litigation, and the Center should not be held to a different standard ... The litigation ban is against the mission of the university, which is to bring services to all North Carolinians, not just the privileged few."

07.25.2017 | TSA Ends Testing, Will Not Screen Passengers’ Books Separately

TSA officials announced they will not screen and search books separate from luggage during security checks before passengers board planes at airports across the country after testing it out. The AAUP's Hank Reichman had expressed concern that, among other things, reading material that TSA deemed offensive or disagreeable could make scholars and others targets. 

07.21.2017 | Cutting Everything … Except Athletics

Wright State faculty members wonder why the university’s athletics budget is protected, while academic funding and seemingly nothing else is. Wright State’s AAUP chapter, the faculty union, said of major concern was the university’s overall poor financial planning and misplaced priorities that ended in at least 50 layoffs.

07.19.2017 | Correcting the Record

California State University, Fullerton, reinstated a part-time faculty member it terminated this year after he was accused of hitting a student at a political rally. Our CFA chapter stood together and strongly defended academic freedom. Eric Canin told the CSU Board of Trustees “now, more than ever, we are teaching in a time of fear. This must change … You need to protect your employees from these unfair assaults on our freedom to teach and our students’ right to learn.”

07.14.2017 | Debating the Value of Full-Time Professors

The American Bar Association is mulling changes to its requirements on full-time faculty members at law schools. The AAUP opposes these changes. Michael Olivas, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who previously served on the ABA council currently overseeing the potential rule change and voted against similar proposals in the past, said the changes pose a risk to academic freedom and to the mission and effectiveness of law schools.

07.14.2017 | Agreement Between Trinity College and Professor After Controversy

The administration of Trinity College in Connecticut acknowledged today that Professor Johnny Williams’s social media posts were protected by academic freedom and did not violate Trinity College policies. The AAUP's Henry Reichman expressed this is what the should have happened from the start.

07.10.2017 | Long-Term Contracts for 1,500 Adjuncts

City University of New York’s 30,000-member faculty union fought for six years for a contract that ensured a handful of must-haves. Among them was more job security for adjuncts, who previously taught on semester-to-semester appointments.

07.10.2017 | Crashing the Academic Conversation

Trinity AAUP chapter president Isaac A. Kamola writes about the recent controversy at Trinity College. He asks, "What does it mean that faculty, students, alumni, administrators, and society at large ... were so quick to assume the worst about our black colleague, yet willing to accept on its face the basic premise put forward by an organization like Camus Reform?"

07.07.2017 | A Common Plea of Professors: Why Can’t My Faculty Senate Pull More Weight?

Faculty dissenters in and outside the senate, are looking to other methods in which to advocate for change. For many, that means reactivating or creating local AAUP chapters to serve as watchdogs of the senate and the administration. At least 150 local AAUP chapters have been created or reactivated in the past five years. "Board-level and administrative-level interference in academic freedom and shared governance is not unique to Chapel Hill, but is a trend throughout higher education in the U.S.," Sherryl Kleinman, a sociology professor at UNC, wrote in an email to The Chronicle.

07.07.2017 | College Professors Face Death Threats, Firings for Online Comments

Recent attacks on professors raise questions about academic freedom, freedom of speech, and racism. Hank Reichman, chair of AAUP's Committee A on Academic Freedom, said, "there are clearly people just sitting around and waiting for the next incident so they can send out a bunch of email threats and what have you. Our biggest concern has been with [college] administrators, who need to have a a spine where they support faculty when this happens."

06.29.2017 | Closed Presidential Searches Worry Union

City College of New York is undergoing a closed, secret search for president, disturbing faculty and others on campus. Michael DeCesare, chair of the AAUP's Committee on College and University Governance, said,  “Locally, faculty and staff have to fight against this. So when there’s a search happening, they need to demand a role on the search committee."

06.28.2017 | Lawmakers Slipped Language into State Budget Allowing UW Leaders to Come from Outside Academia

Language quietly slipped into the proposed state budget would allow someone without an academic background to become the University of Wisconsin System's next president or a campus chancellor, potentially moving politics and business interests squarely into future searches for top university leaders. This is at odds with the AAUP's Statement on Government, stating a president “should be equally qualified to serve both as the executive officer of the governing board and as the chief academic officer of the institution and the faculty."

06.28.2017 | Under Fire, These Professors Were Criticized by Their Colleges

Professors who have come under intense criticism for controversial remarks. The AAUP and its chapters continue to speak out in support of academic freedom of faculty members and against targeted harassment and urge administrations to do the same.

06.28.2017 | Trinity Community Debates Placing Professor On Leave

Following the suspension of Professor Johnny Eric Williams, many have spoken out. The Trinity AAUP chapter expresses the strongest concern for academic freedom, and Trinity faculty passed a resolution Wednesday demanding the administration revoke its decision. The AAUP sent a letter to the president outlining due process and academic freedom violation concerns. First vice president Hank Reichman speaks out about the Trinity president's statement and actions.

06.26.2017 | Remove Your Shoes ... And Your Books

The TSA plan to expand a program in which airline passengers will be asked to remove books from carry-on luggage attracted attention this weekend when the ACLU released an analysis of the proposal that noted concerns about passengers having to reveal what they are reading.

06.26.2017 | More Support for Trinity Professor Put on Leave

Faculty members and others continue to defend Johnny Eric Williams after his suspension from Trinity College in Connecticut over racially charged remarks he made on social media. The Executive Committee of the Trinity campus chapter of the AAUP released a similar statement in support of Williams, saying, “We are still troubled that, after a tenured black professor received death threats in response to speaking out against white supremacy on a personal social media page, the administration’s default response was to lend credence to a politically motivated attack specifically designed to stif

06.26.2017 | Adjunct Workers: Interviews with Local and National Labor Activists and Workers

Caprice Lawless, English teacher and AAUP second vice president and Melinda Myrick, English teacher member and president of the Front Range Community College AAUP chapter discuss issues facing higher education on the Labor Exchange with Dennis Creese.

06.23.2017 | AAUP Condemns Threats Against Faculty Members

The AAUP condemned a recent pattern of threats against faculty members for their public comments. “We are dismayed that another faculty member, John Eric Williams of Trinity College, has become the target of a flood of threats following reports about his social media postings by the right-wing media outlet Campus Reform,” AAUP said in a statement. “We support and stand with our colleagues and campus communities whose academic freedom is threatened. The free exchange of ideas is incompatible with an atmosphere of fear.”

06.19.2017 | Professor Warns of Below-Level Standards at Aurora Community College after Censure

Nathaniel Bork said he feels vindicated after a censure of Community College of Aurora over the weekend and that "My concern was about the well being of the students going forward."

06.19.2017 | AAUP Adds 2 Institutions, Removes 2 From Censure List

The AAUP updated its censure list after delegates to its recent 103rd annual meeting in Washington, D.C., voted to remove the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, and added Spalding University and the Community College of Aurora to the list. “I express my sincere appreciation to the AAUP and the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure for reviewing and removing the censure on Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas,” said  Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the University of Arkansas system.

06.17.2017 | Community College of Aurora Censured for Violating Academic Freedom

The Community College of Aurora was censured by the nation’s 100-year-old association for college professors Saturday for “serious departures from principles and standards of academic freedom” over the firing of a part-time philosophy instructor last year. “Being forced to lower my standards to increase my pass rates was horrible,” Bork said Saturday. “Being fired for drawing attention to the plan out of concern for students’ well-being was worse.”

06.15.2017 | AAUP Committee: It's Time to Lift UI Censure

The AAUP's annual delegation will vote Saturday on whether to remove censure from UI based on the Salaita case.

06.11.2017 | Knapp Cashes $1.25 Million Paycheck, Compensation Rises for Second Straight Year

The AAUP's Sam Dunietz pointed out that he increases in presidential salaries have been far outpacing faculty pay over the last 10 to 15 years. And nationally presidents earn an average of four times as much as professors.

06.08.2017 | Can a Single Course Jeopardize an Academic Department?

Reflecting on controversy over whether the cancelation of a history course on college athletics that seemed to pit a department against top administrators, the AAUP's Joerg Tiede said it would be "at odds with principles of academic freedom" if a course were canceled because the subject it covered was controversial.

06.06.2017 | Bandaid Solutions Cannot Be the Long-Term Fix: Addressing Public Higher Ed’s Budgetary Challenges

The AAUP's Howard Bunsis talks trends in disinvestment, contingent labor, athletics spending, and more.

06.05.2017 | WSU Faculty Call Budget Proposal Disgraceful, Absurd

Wright State faculty members sent an angry letter to university leadership, calling WSU’s 2018 budget proposal “disgraceful” and “absurd” because of the emphasis placed on athletic spending. The letter comes just days before Thursday’s WSU Board of Trustees meeting, where the board is expected to vote on the budget proposal and points to a $1.6 million proposed budget increase for intercollegiate athletics at the same time that WSU is planning $30 million in cuts, $9.5 million of it at the school’s seven core colleges.

06.01.2017 | Debate Over Whiteness Courses

Courses on whiteness and diversity are increasingly politicized. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said, "Academic freedom protects the right for people to teach things that some might consider divisive."

05.31.2017 | Northern Iowa Faculty Union Preserves Contract Benefits in New Handbook

UNI will manage to preserve many of its contractual benefits, despite a new state law that limits collective bargaining rights for professors at public institutions. The AAUP's United Faculty worked with the university to maintain contract terms.

05.30.2017 | U of Chicago Students Rally for Union

Graduate Students United (GSU) organized for collective action ten years ago and have achieved many gains. They are formalizing their union with the AAUP to continue to have a seat at the table and a voice in their workplace and university. Undergraduate student Michael Weinrib said, “It makes me feel really powerful. It makes me feel like student workers across the campus, across the country are trying to build power to create a more equitable and fair university, a university that works for the people who are parts of it: it’s students, it’s grad students, it’s workers.”

05.22.2017 | After Immigration Officer Was Forced From Classroom, Students Lament a Missed Opportunity

Student protesters at Northwestern University shouted down an ICE officer who came to speak in a "Social Inequality: Race, Class & Power" class. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said, "Whether inside or outside the classroom, we do not believe it is appropriate to shut down speakers. Students certainly have the right to protest, but not in a way that interferes with the essential educational functions of the university."

05.22.2017 | AAUP Supports Graduate Assistant Unions

University of Chicago leaders affirm the right of graduate workers to organize and bargain collectively through whatever representative body they choose.

05.19.2017 | WSU Hits ‘Low Point’ with Announcement of 71 Layoffs, Budget Cuts

Wright State University said it is hitting a ‘low point’ with the announcement of 71 layoffs. Athletics received the smallest personnel spending reduction of any department. The idea that athletics would be “shielded” from budget cuts is “uncomfortable” at best and maybe even an “abomination,” said Geoffrey Owens, vice president of the WSU chapter of American Association of University Professors. He said, "It's especially egregious we’re putting money into a secondary, tertiary endeavor when…teaching, providing support services for students is subject to cuts."

05.16.2017 | A Gun, a Threat and a Dismissal

The AAUP released the results of its investigation of Spalding’s actions against Professor Erlene Grise-Owens, a report that could well result in a vote of censure for the institution when the AAUP meets next month.

05.15.2017 | The States Where Campus Free-Speech Bills Are Being Born: A Rundown

A wave of proposed legislation on campus free speech is making its way through statehouses across the nation. The AAUP opposes legislation that interferes with the institutional autonomy of colleges and universities by undermining the role of faculty, administration, and governing board in institutional decision-making and the role of students in the formulation and application of institutional policies affecting student affairs.

05.15.2017 | Words Fly on Free Speech Bill

Many warn proposed legislation to ensure First Amendment rights at Wisconsin public universities say it could backfire and limit expression. AAUP member Dave Vanness told legislators last week that “In any public forum, and particularly at a public university, any attempts to limit expression must be done with extreme caution" and that there is concern "as drafted, a combination of ambiguous language and mandatory sanctions will have the perverse effect of chilling constitutionally protected expression” on campus.

05.11.2017 | Ohio College Faculty Could Face More Scrutiny in Proposed Law

Tenured faculty at Ohio’s public universities could face state mandated evaluations and minimum teaching requirements if bills in the statehouse become law. AAUP Ohio State Conference president John McNay comments on the attack on faculty in the state.

05.10.2017 | Supporters Rallying Behind UNC’s Civil Rights Center

A proposed ban on litigation by the UNC Center for Civil Rights has drawn heavy opposition from students, faculty, alumni and others, who say such a prohibition would hurt the university’s teaching, research and public service missions.

05.08.2017 | University of Chicago Grad Students, Undergrad Library Workers Seek to Unionize

University of Chicago graduate employees filed a petition with the NLRB for a formal election to form a union affiliated with the AAUP, the AFT, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers. Undergraduate library workers filed a separate petition with the NLRB for an election to join the Teamsters Local 743 union.

05.03.2017 | Indiana Professors Oppose Purdue's Kaplan Deal

Faculty members across the state are voicing strong opposition to Purdue University's deal to acquire for-profit Kaplan University. The Indiana Conference of American Association of University Professors on Tuesday evening released a statement that said it "objects strenuously" to the deal for a many reasons, including lack of faculty input, no assessment of the impact on the academic quality of Purdue, and compromising the mission of non-profit institutions serving the public good.

04.21.2017 | Free Speech, Safety and the Constitution

Controversial speakers were slated and cancelled at Auburn and Berkeley. The AAUP's statement on outside speakers supports students' rights to invite speakers on campus, rejects the heckler's veto, but nonetheless states “colleges and universities bear the obligation to ensure conditions of peaceful discussion, which at times can be quite onerous. Only in the most extraordinary circumstances can strong evidence of imminent danger justify rescinding an invitation to an outside speaker."

04.19.2017 | Rider University Faculty Vote 'No Confidence' in School President

Rider University's faculty members overwhelmingly voted "no confidence" in university president Gregory Dell'Omo, criticizing his autocratic, top-down management style and a series of rash, unjustified actions. The AAUP chapter, composed of 500 full- and part-time faculty, librarians, coaches and athletic trainers, approved a resolution this week by a tally of 305 to 100.

04.17.2017 | Image of Trump Spurs Debate at Stanford

Stanford University told Professor Michele Landis Dauber the university wouldn’t let her print image of Donald Trump -- from a recording where he talked about assaulting women -- for an academic conference Title IX conference.

04.15.2017 | Q&A: What's the Big Deal About That Fresno State Lecturer's Trump Tweet

A Fresno State lecturer’s tweet sparks debate about free speech, academic freedom and more.

04.11.2017 | Faculty Salaries Edged Up in Current Academic Year

This year's AAUP survey and report shows that, adjusted for inflation, faculty salaries were nearly flat, and a gender-based pay gap persists at many schools.

04.09.2017 | Anti-Union Legislation Bad For Connecticut

Julian Madison, president of the Southern Connecticut State University AAUP chapter, and Stephen Monroe Tomczak, associate professor of social work at SCSU, compare the investment choices of states like Kansas, Wisconsin and Louisiana to states like Minnesota and encourage Connecticut to choose wisely.

04.04.2017 | Bernie Sanders, Pramila Jayapal Introduce Bill to Make College Free for Many

The AAUP supports the College for All Act, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, that would make four-year public college free for families making less than $125,000 and make community college free for all.

03.30.2017 | Full-Time SFCC Staffers Overwhelmingly Vote to Unionize

Faculty members at Santa Fe Community College voted to join together in a union with the AAUP. The day of the vote, Marci Eannarino, teacher in the college's English, Reading and Speech Department said, “This is a really big day for us — it’s a defining moment for SFCC faculty."

03.29.2017 | Fired Because He Wouldn't Dumb Down a Course?

Students may complain about courses that are too hard, but could fighting to maintain high standards actually get a professor fired? A new report from the AAUP alleges that Colorado’s Community College of Aurora terminated an adjunct because he refused to lower his expectations for his introductory philosophy class. The report sets the stage for the AAUP to vote on censuring Aurora for alleged violations of academic freedom later this spring.

03.29.2017 | Adjuncts at Colorado Community Colleges Lack Academic-Freedom Protections, AAUP Says

The AAUP cites the firing of a Colorado adjunct instructor as evidence of a broader lack of academic freedom for part-time faculty members throughout that state’s community-college system.

03.24.2017 | Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Leads to Diminished College Enrollment

Racism is rampant and foreign students or prospective students have much to consider. Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president says, "The atmosphere -- the increasing attacks on Jewish centers, cemeteries, Muslim mosques and the recent murder of two Sikhs in Kansas City -- means that many international students are deciding to stay away from the US and are instead attending colleges in Canada, Australia or Europe."

03.21.2017 | Higher Ed, Faculty Are Under Fire

Rudy Fichtenbaum discusses many problems stemming from ill-conceived policies and escalating since the November election.

03.17.2017 | March Madness: Should Coaches Earn More Than College Presidents?

While coaches and university presidents earn seven figure salaries, Howard Bunsis, AAUP leader and chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congrees, points out, “Many universities have lost their way, as the core function of a university is the academic success of our students."

03.12.2017 | Chasing Big Sports Goals, Rutgers Stumbles Into a Vat of Red Ink

The Rutgers athletic department has run an annual deficit of at least $20 million since 2006 and has diverted millions in student fees and millions from its general fund to cover the athletic shortfall. In 2012, Rutgers joined the Big Ten with high hopes and low returns. David Hughes, president of the Rutgers AAUP chapter, and Mark Killingsworth, Rutgers economics professor and football fan, weigh in. The facult

03.09.2017 | Who Are the Key Players in the Resistance Against Donald Trump?

On issues from immigration to climate to transgender rights, activists and organizations have been rallying against Trump and new political initiatives. The AAUP is one of many organizations partnering with the Science March on Earth Day, April 22nd.

03.09.2017 | Sheldon Whitehouse Addresses Concerns on Immigration, Higher Education

The University of Rhode Island AAUP chapter hosted Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to discuss immigration policies, Trump’s revised travel ban, and potential effects on higher education.

03.08.2017 | People Rally Across Michigan to Celebrate International Women's Day

Women and men across Michigan joined those across the nation and globe rallying in support of International Women's Day and "A Day Without a Woman." An event at Eastern Michigan University drew crowds to the Student Center on campus.

03.06.2017 | Presidential Search Has Faculty Members Fuming at Kentucky State

The situation at Kentucky State reflects broader anxiety in higher education about shared governance. "I think this is all a part of the corporate model being brought now to universities," said Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president, referring to universities’ reliance on search firms. "I don’t think that model works in an academic setting."

02.28.2017 | Public Input Still Lacking in Search for UA President

On Tuesday the Arizona Board of Regents presented two candidates to replace Hart after a search committee drew on several dozen prospects whose identities are not known to the public or faculty. Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president, emphasized: “The faculty should have a major role in the selection of the president. The process by which the president is chosen should be an open process.”

02.28.2017 | Colorado's Part-Time Professors Brace For Another Year With No Raise

This moving story follows Caprice Lawless, an adjunct for the Colorado Community College system and a leader of the AAUP, through a local food bank and highlights the creative work the Colorado Conference has been engaged in trying to raise standards for adjuncts and education in the state.

02.27.2017 | Through Petitions, Professors Exercise a 'Special Duty to Speak Out'

Petitions and open letters by academics are popular and on the rise since the elections. The AAUP delivered an open letter to Turning Point USA denouncing their Professor Watchlist as a tool to "silence free speech, chill academic freedom, and harass faculty members."

02.27.2017 | Major U.S. Science Groups Endorse March for Science

The March for Science, scheduled for 22 April, is creating a buzz in the scientific community. The march arose as a grassroots reaction to concerns about the attacks on science under President Donald Trump. The AAUP is one of many proud March for Science partners.

02.26.2017 | AAUP Forum Defends Academic Freedom Under Trump

The AAUP is making rounds at college campuses, talking about academic freedom in the age of Trump. Joerg Tiede explains at a recent visit to the University of Louisville “These attacks [on the press and academics] are aimed at these institutions because of the roles they play in our democracy.”

02.25.2017 | Tenured Positions at US Public Universities Are Under Attack

Tenure has long been important to American higher education as a means of protecting academic freedom. Beginning in 1915, the AAUP was one of the first organizations of college professors to fight for academic freedom. In the 1700s, religious groups operated most colleges in the United States and, before that, Britain’s North American colonies.

02.22.2017 | Professors Criticize Ohio’s Higher-Education Priorities

The Ohio Conference of the AAUP bucks years of state higher education policy in a report stating: "The popular idea that public colleges and universities should operate more like the private sector is deeply flawed and causes more problems than it is alleviating."

02.17.2017 | Rutgers Faculty Join National 'Academics United' Movement, Show Support for Immigrants

The Rutgers 'Academics United' event is part of a nationwide movement of University faculty members discussing the impact the travel ban on their institutions. Deepa Kumar, vice-president of the Rutgers AAUP chapter, said academics should join the movement against those who would ban members based on a religious or ethnic background.

02.16.2017 | 10 Reasons Tenure Benefits Students and Iowans

AAUP member leaders Lois Cox and Katherine Tachau explains why a state bill to kill tenure would hurt quality education. 

02.05.2017 | Politicians Set Sights on Changing Higher Education

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed into law a large spending adjustment stripping $18 million from Iowa’s three public universities this budget year.

02.02.2017 | Professors Association: Defend Academic Freedom

The AAUP issued a statement—in part crafted by Penn State University scientist Michael Mann, who has come under severe attack for his research on climate change—urging universities, governing boards, and faculties to defend academic freedom and condemn targeted harassment and intimidation of faculty. “We cannot tolerate bad-faith smear campaigns and attacks on academics whose findings or views might seem threatening to powerful interest groups,” Mann said. Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher and Temple University faculty union president Arthur

02.02.2017 | Standing Up to Trolls

Online harassment of academics is nothing new. But the increasing trend following the 2016 elections, many targeted faculty members sharing stories in recent months, and with political winds blowing in a decidedly anti-science direction, the AAUP released a statement condemning actions like those taken against professors like Joseph Palermo, a history professor at Sacramento State University.

01.23.2017 | Beginning of a Movement: Tens of Thousands of Students and Academics Join Women’s March on Washington

Hundreds of thousands of people converged on the nation’s capital to show solidarity and support for those who feel their rights may be threatened in the new political environment. AAUP Executive Director Julie Schmid talks about quality education and accountability of educational institutions being “up for grabs.” She said, “We are here to fight to protect freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression. We’ll be here, and we’ll keep fighting and standing with our allies.”

01.23.2017 | Right to Work is Wrong for Ohio

After Kentucky becomes the nation's 27th "right-to-work" state, AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum writes, "Ohio is nearly surrounded by a right-to-work-is-wrong desert; states where the middle class has been decimated" and breaks down how "right-to-work" laws divide workers; lower income, benefits and retirement security; increase chances of being killed or hurt on the job; and why it's wrong for Ohio and the country.

01.19.2017 | New Advice on Navigating Politics in the Classroom

The AAUP and AFT published an FAQ-style guide addressing common concerns among professors in the wake of the 2016 election. The document offers advice on scenarios ranging from an administrative ban on talking about the election in the classroom to dealing with students who express racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic views to how to support nontenured collegues.

01.18.2017 | Professor Watch List: Defending Free Speech

One hundred forty-one UVM faculty members proudly signed on to the American Association of University Professors’ “Open Letter Regarding the Professor Watchlist.” http://bit.ly/2iWyVOW

01.13.2017 | Republicans are Trying to Kill Academic Tenure in Two US States

A bill in Missouri would end tenure for all new faculty hires starting in 2018 and legislation in Iowa would end tenure even for those who already have it. The new bills come from states where the AAUP recently investigated public institutions for violations of academic freedom or shared governance norms. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said, "This looks like the perfect storm of government and legislative attacks on higher education.”

01.12.2017 | Lawmaker's Bid to Ban Tenure Would Make Iowa an Outlier

If a bill introduced this week seeking to make it easier for the state’s public universities to fire professors by abolishing tenure becomes law, it could make Iowa an anomaly in banning the widely-accepted practice that affirms academic freedoms on campus. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede talks about the broad-based attack on public higher education by legislators.

01.10.2017 | If Colleges Keep Killing Academic Freedom, Civilization Will Die, Too

José A. Cabranes, judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, citing central AAUP statements, writes that while academic freedom and the tenure system that protects it can seem unnecessary to the many Americans who lack job security, academic tenure is essential to democracy and threats constitute threats to our democracy. 

01.09.2017 | A Lesson on How to Survive Trumpism—From the McCarthy Era

Ellen Schrecker, McCarthy era scholar and AAUP member, compares the current political climate to the McCarthy era. She is encouraged by professors, the AAUP and other organizations "refus[ing] to collaborate with political repression," by petitioning watchlists and joining with students to protect other groups of endangered students, saying, "Courage can be contagious."

01.03.2017 | Drexel, Twitter and Academic Freedom

Drexel condemned a professor for a tweet. The AAUP's Hank Reichman said, "To label these comments as 'reprehensible' or even just 'disturbing' is both to take sides in an essentially political dispute and to pass judgment on the private views of its instructors." The AAUP urges administrations to defend academic freedom and free speech at every turn, and condemns death threats against faculty.