2018 AAUP In the News

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.

12.23.2016 | UW-Madison’s Claire Wendland: Professor ‘Watchlist’ Attempt to Intimidate

Professor Claire Wendland said of signing the AAUP open letter to the creators of the professor watchlist, “I wanted to sign on in active solidarity with the people being put on the list ... I think the watchlist is clearly an attempt to intimidate free speech and open research. It’s important to be able to research and talk about things that are not necessarily pleasing to legislators in power or corporations who control the purse strings.” 

12.21.2016 | Republican Legislators Take Issue With New UW-Madison Race Relations Course

Wisconsin state Sen. Steve Nass spoke out against a university course in an email to his Republican colleagues and encouraged them to consider the course when deciding whether to approve the UW system’s request for more funding in the next state budget. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said curricular decisions should be made by the faculty, not by state legislators. 

12.19.2016 | A Ph.D. in Organizing

"Newly armed with the right to collective bargaining, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and research assistants at private universities are organizing to join the ranks of the unionized." That includes those organizing with the AAUP at the University of Chicago and elsewhere. After the election, many prepare for new attacks on collective bargaining, but for now, the window is open. 

12.19.2016 | Trustee Appointment Takes a Political Turn

University of North Carolina faculty members joined others in raising strong objections to Republican legislative efforts to pass legislation stripping the power to appoint some local state university campus trustees from North Carolina’s governor and giving it to the state’s most powerful lawmakers. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said, “What’s happening right here suggests that the process is being politicized. That’s certainly an unwelcome development.”

12.18.2016 | I'm a Scientist Who Has Gotten Death Threats. I Fear What May Happen under Trump.

Professor Michael E. Mann, who serves on the AAUP's Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, writes, "I’ve faced hostile investigations by politicians, demands for me to be fired from my job, threats against my life and even threats against my family." His opinion piece tells his story of being a climate scientist and highlights present concerns about academic freedom and tenure.