2018 AAUP In the News

05.10.2018 | UNL rebuked for bowing to ‘political pressure’ after incident with grad student-lecturer

A new AAUP investigative report examines the University of Nebraska–Lincoln's dismissal of instructor Courtney Lawton after a video circulated of her protest against a student recruiting for Turning Point USA. UNL faculty member and AAUP Nebraska conference past-president Julia Schleck said, “I am appalled by the elected representatives who for partisan reasons pressured the university to break its own rules,” and "deeply disappointed in our leadership for having capitulated to this pressure.”

05.02.2018 | Why George Mason’s Agreements With the Koch Foundation Raised Red Flags

The release of donor agreements that George Mason University signed with the Charles Koch Foundation and other benefactors revealed provisions allowing for donor involvement in decisions regarding faculty and curriculum. AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum expressed particular concern about undue influence in hiring faculty and the problem of "promoting a political agenda" through a designated focus on free-market principles. 

04.26.2018 | University of Iowa could leave national sanction list

The AAUP's Committee on College and University Governance has voted to recommend the University of Iowa's removal from the AAUP's list of sanctioned institutions because of improvements in shared governance in the two years since the secretive hiring of president Bruce Harreld led to a sanction vote. AAUP members will vote on the committee's recommendation at their June annual meeting. AAUP senior program officer Hans-Joerg Tiede said, “Every time an institution is removed from the sanction or censure list, it confirms the importance of the standards that we advocate for.”

04.19.2018 | As pay and benefits stagnate, nontenured faculty and graduate students in Illinois, Chicago look to unions

Contingent faculty in Illinois are responding to instability and inadequate compensation with union activism. AAUP executive director Julie Schmid disagrees with claims that graduate student instructors should not have collective-bargaining rights because they are primarily students rather than employees.

04.17.2018 | New Limits on Overtime

The Labor Department has added online adjunct instructors and postdoctoral fellows to the category of academic workers ineligible for overtime pay. AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum said, “This is just a continuation of that rolling back [of protections for workers] and making sure that adjuncts continue to receive the same shitty pay they’ve been getting.”

04.11.2018 | How Much Did Professors Earn This Year? Barely Enough to Beat Inflation

A rise in the cost of living chipped away at salary gains by full-time faculty members in the 2017-18 academic year, according to new survey data published by the AAUP.

04.11.2018 | Faculty Salaries Up 3%

Each year, AAUP’s analysis touches on different aspects of faculty pay. The new report discusses salary compression, or when professors at lower ranks are paid close to what higher-ranked professors are paid due to market and other differences at their points of hire.

04.05.2018 | Accounting Professor Says EMU Will Lose Money by Cutting Four Sports

AAUP Council member and EMU accounting professor Howard Bunsis explains how Eastern Michigan University's controversial plan to cut four sports teams to save money will actually end up costing money. He says the only way for EMU to save money on sports is to switch the expensive football program from Division 1 to Division 2.

04.04.2018 | Professors Are Targets In Online Culture Wars; Some Fight Back

Colleges are meant to be a home for free inquiry. But these days, not all professors feel that freedom. Across the country, in the past year and a half, university professors have been targeted via online campaigns because of their research, their teaching or their social media posts. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said no matter what side you're on politically, it's clear that academic freedom is under assault, as it has been many times in the past. The AAUP has been tracking this latest wave of targeted harassment and issuing recommendations for policymakers.

03.29.2018 | Tenure Under Attack in Kentucky

Late addition to budget bill would allow dismissal of tenured professors due to program changes or eliminations, ending protections previously adopted by college boards. Nancy McKenney, a faculty member at Eastern Kentucky and president of the Kentucky Conference of the AAUP said, "Introducing uncertainty about tenure and job security will make recruitment and retention of faculty even more problematic."

03.29.2018 | Increasingly Skeptical Students, Employees Want Colleges to Show Them the Money

As public confidence declines, university budgets and investments face growing scrutiny. Caprice Lawless, second vice president of the AAUP said faculty are used to researching issues and publishing findings. To raise awareness, her chapter of part-time faculty in Colorado have even woven financial figures — some obtained through public-records requests — into a tongue-in-cheek coloring book with puzzles challenging readers to match the six-figure salary with the community college president who earns it.

03.28.2018 | Competing Interests: Corporate Strategies at SU Often Conflict with Academic Traditions, Following Higher Ed Trends

AAUP Governance Committee chair Michael DeCesare weighs in on events at Syracuse University.

03.23.2018 | University Faculty Alarmed by Kentucky Budget Language that Guts Tenure Protections

University faculty around the state are raising red flags over proposed legislative language that appears to let administrators ignore tenure protections as they downsize because of financial cutbacks. The AAUP's Anita Levy said, “This is very far reaching and over-reaching on the part of the Kentucky Senate. It’s obviously very disturbing in that it completely supplants the role of faculty governance, and supersedes all governing policies.”

03.22.2018 | Eastern Michigan Answers the Question: Why Not Cut Football?

With EMU cutting its softball, wrestling, women's tennis and men's swimming and diving programs, football was a primary topic of discussion. Faculty and students have called for EMU to drop to Division II football or cut the program all together in the past. Howard Bunsis, accounting professor and treasurer of the EMU-AAUP, suggested to the board in April 2016 that the university consider making the shift.

03.16.2018 | Grade F for DeVos in a Year of Setbacks

It wasn’t much of a welcoming party. In January 2017, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) released a statement urging the U.S. Senate to reject Betsy DeVos’ nomination as Education Secretary, writing that “in both ideology and practice she has violated the principles of quality education that the AAUP has defended for over a century.” They weren’t alone in their objections.

03.15.2018 | Hey Alexa, How Do You Change the Default Settings for the “Teacher, Scholar, Mother” in Academia?

Dr. Angela Colistra cites AAUP data regarding women holding more lower-ranking academic positions than men and encourages mother scholars to be an advocate for equity within their institutions. 

03.15.2018 | EMU Faculty, Staff Protest Cuts, Say Look to Athletics 'Sacred Cow'

Amid news that Eastern Michigan University plans to cut nearly 60 positions to erase a deficit between $4.5 and 5.5 million, faculty and staff are arguing the university isn't looking closely enough at its athletics programs for budget cuts. Around 70 faculty and staff were joined by Michigan gubernatorial candidates Abdul El-Sayed and Bill Cobbs on Thursday, March 15, outside of Welch Hall, asking EMU to look closely at its "sacred cow" - the athletics budget - that was subsidized by $27.3 million in 2015, according to NCAA financial disclosure forms.

03.14.2018 | St. Lawrence Students, Faculty Walk Out to Protest Gun Violence

More than 200 students and faculty gathered at the quad in front of Kirk Douglas Hall at St. Lawrence University just before 10 a.m. Wednesday to participate in the national and international walkouts to protest gun violence. AAUP chapter officer Christopher Buck spoke on the issue of firearms and academic freedom, saying that keeping firearms off campuses allowed free discussion without fear of violence. He said, “(The Trump administration) would rather militarize educational institutions than pursue more sensible gun laws.

03.05.2018 | Postpone Sweeping Changes to Cal State Classes, National Faculty Group Says

The AAUP has joined California State University faculty in their criticism of sweeping changes to classes ordered last year by Chancellor Tim White.

03.05.2018 | When Students Harass Professors

Academe’s Me Too movement has thus far focused on professors harassing students, or senior professors harassing junior professors. Yet a recent case highlights the fact that professors, too, may be vulnerable to abuse by students. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede says sexual harassment “should not be tolerated by members of either group,” and both accused professors and students should receive appropriate due process following a complaint.

03.02.2018 | Striking a Nerve

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt offers strategies for when the right wing attacks. Practical tips include forwarding your administration AAUP’s recent publications on targeted online harassment and “What You Can Do About Targeted Online Harassment.”

02.28.2018 | University of Tennessee Faculty: Administrative Proposal Would Essentially Eliminate Tenure

Faculty at the University of Tennessee are concerned about proposed changes to the post-tenure review process that they say will essentially eliminate tenure. The AAUP's Greg Scholtz said, "It's strange and we've never seen it before."

02.26.2018 | One in 66,000: Is the Presidential Search Committee Lacking Student Representation?

Out of the roughly 66,000 students on UCF’s campus, only two have an official role in the search for the next president – a figure that’s worrying to some students. Michael DeCesare, chairman of the AAUP's Committee on College and University Governance, said having only one student in presidential search committees is not unusual, though the association recommends proportional student representation. DeCesare emphasized however that “each member should be selected by his or her own constituency by election,” which was not the case in UCF’s search committee.

02.23.2018 | What Will it Take for Unions to Survive Janus?

Union members, activists, and community members will take part in a day of action on February 24 to focus attention on a Supreme Court case with profound and threatening implications for the labor movement. On February 26, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. Sherry Wolf, with Rutgers AAUP-AFT, and others discuss the current situation and possibilities for the future.

02.23.2018 | Disaster Capitalism Hits Higher Education in Wisconsin

Rachel Ida Buff, AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom editor and a member of the AAUP Committee on College and University Governance, writes about how the president of the University of Wisconsin System is trying to reconcile a well-funded assault on public institutions with the state’s deep blue sea of support for accessible education.

02.14.2018 | Budgeting for Fear and Austerity: An Interview with Howard Bunsis

AAUP Council member Howard Bunsis discusses budgets and fear. He says to faculty, "You can’t just put your head down, teach your classes, do your research, and go home. If you want to change the place, you have to act collectively. ... We’re always better off when we act together.”

02.06.2018 | More Scrutiny for Confucius Institutes; One to Close

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio wrote to four Florida colleges and universities Monday asking them to close their Confucius Institutes, centers of Chinese language and cultural education that are housed in U.S.

02.06.2018 | Faculty Groups Slam UW System President Ray Cross for Secretly Planning Sweeping Restructuring

Another faculty backlash is brewing against University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross because Republican lawmakers got a heads-up about his far-reaching plans to restructure the two-year colleges while faculty, staff and students were kept in the dark. Several emails obtained by Wisconsin Public Radio revealed the UW System president intentionally kept his plans a secret from campus governance groups so they wouldn't be thwarted.

02.05.2018 | Secret Lives of Bay Area Part-Time Profs: Here's Why They Work at Safeway, Live out of Cars

Far from the comfort of an ivory tower, the world of academia has led many Bay Area part-time college instructors into secret lives of hardship. The AAUP's Howard Bunsis said, "I see this at institution after institution," he said. "The number and salaries of instructors is flat or down; the number and salaries of admins goes up."

02.04.2018 | How Do Students Feel about Professors Who Teach Their Own Textbooks?

The Daily Tar Heel examines the practice of assigning texts with their authors and cites an AAUP statement that says, "The right of individual professors to select their own instructional materials, a right protected under principles of academic freedom, should be limited only by such considerations as quality, cost, availability and the need for coordination with other instructors or courses."

02.01.2018 | UW Restructure Described As 'Open Secret' Prior To Public Announcement

The AAUP's Greg Scholtz said keeping faculty in the dark early in the process was wrong. "If you don’t have the right process, you’re not going to get the right product, and we don’t believe that you can get a good decision-making product if you leave the faculty out of the equation," he said.

02.01.2018 | AAUP Looking into Rosenstein's Case

The AAUP is looking into the case of a University of Illinois professor accused of videotaping members of a pro-Chief Illiniwek group. The AAUP, which placed the UI on its "censure" list for two years because of the Steven Salaita case, wrote to Chancellor Robert Jones about his decision to place Professor Jay Rosenstein on paid administrative leave while the campus reviews the Jan. 22 incident. The letter suggests that the campus may have violated Rosenstein's right to academic due process and raised the prospect of future censure.

01.26.2018 | White Supremacists Target Georgia Professor with Web of Lies

An associate professor and educational psychologist, Joshua A. Cuevas detailed his harrowing experiences in an essay for the AAUP's Academe online and in print. He said he’s been amazed at the number of fellow academics this week who contacted him to say, “Me, too.”

01.25.2018 | Wright State Faculty Rally for Better Contract

Wright State University’s faculty union is rallying this morning for a better contract with the school’s administration. Contract negotiations are expected to move into fact-finding at the end of the month. Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP President and Professor Emeritus of Economics, at WSU said that he will recommend to the AAUP-WSU’s executive committee to initiate a strike process in case the administration or the union reject a fact finder’s report.

01.24.2018 | UT-Austin Professors Join Campaign Against Faculty-Productivity Company

The University of Texas at Austin became one of the most prestigious research institutions to join a faculty rebellion against Academic Analytics, a data company that promises to identify low-performing professors. The AAUP issued a statement in March 2016 urging extreme caution toward Academic Analytics. Among other issues, the AAUP said, "While such services promise ‘objective’ data about faculty productivity, some of the firm’s metrics lack any qualitative dimension."

01.23.2018 | “We Are All a Single Outrage Campaign Away from Having No Rights at All”

Over the course of the last year, targeted online harassment of faculty has emerged as a significant threat to academic freedom. Fueled by websites such as Professor Watchlist, Campus Reform, and College Fix, campaigns of threats and harassment are directed against faculty members for what they are reported to have said in the classroom or posted on social media. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede points out efforts to silence faculty members who speak out on matters of race are not new and summarizes recent cases.

01.22.2018 | Drexel Professor Taken on as Visiting Scholar

Former Drexel University professor George Ciccariello-Maher, who drew controversy last year for his tweets, has been taken on as a visiting scholar at NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. He resigned from Drexel on Dec. 31 after facing harassment for his online presence and being placed on administrative leave in early October for what Drexel described as security concerns. This response led some academic groups, such as the AAUP, to criticize Drexel’s condemnation.

01.11.2018 | AAUP Committee Set to Investigate Due Process Lapse at UNL

A three-person committee with the AAUP will investigate whether or not the University of Nebraska-Lincoln violated the due process rights of a graduate student lecturer dismissed from her teaching duties in November. Joerg Tiede said, “Due process is tied to what kind of power someone has over you. We, as citizens of the United States, are entitled to due process when it comes to government prosecution. Faculty are entitled to due process when it comes to disciplinary actions against them.”

01.11.2018 | Police Stand Guard Outside Florida University Class on 'White Racism'

A Florida university posted campus police outside a sociology class titled "White Racism" after the professor was flooded with harassing emails and messages -- some of them openly racist. Thornhill's experience is not unusual. Last year, the AAUP documented more than 100 incidents of harassment targeting professors were reported on college campuses around the country.

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 | 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.

12.08.2017 | 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.

12.05.2017 | 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 | 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.

11.29.2017 | 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

11.22.2017 | 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 | 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."

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.”

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 | 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.

09.10.2017 | 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.

09.08.2017 | 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 | 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.

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."

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.

08.30.2017 | 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.

08.29.2017 | 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 | 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.

06.26.2017 | 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.

06.23.2017 | 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 | 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.

06.19.2017 | 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."

06.17.2017 | 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 | 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.

02.28.2017 | 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.”

02.27.2017 | 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.

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.

12.12.2016 | Don't Smile (You're on Camera)

The video recording of an Orange Coast College instructor's anti-Trump comments by a student who posted them on Facebook heightens concerns about targeting of faculty for their political views. Placing this incident in the context of the Professor Watchlist, the AAUP's Hans-Joerg Tiede said, "There is reason to be concerned that this kind of activity will be increasing in the current environment."

12.11.2016 | Ohio Colleges Vow to Protect Immigrants

Petitions have been circulating to make several colleges and universities in Ohio sanctuary campuses. Commenting on the AAUP's advocacy for sanctuary campuses, AAUP President and Wright State University professor emeritus Rudy Fichtenbaum said, "We’re not going to sit silently by as people are being scapegoated."

12.10.2016 | UNLV, UNR Students Want Schools’ Help in Sanctuary Campus Issue

Students at the University of Nevadam Las Vegas and the University of Nevada, Reno delivered petitions to their universities' presidents requesting their support for undocumented students at risk of deportation. Commenting on the campus sanctuary movement, Rutgers University AAUP-AFT union chapter president David Hughes said, "We’re not looking for universities to break the law, but to exercise the maximum latitude they can in dragging their feet to complying with the executive branch."

12.09.2016 | Community College of Aurora Under Investigation After Firing Professor

Commenting on the AAUP investigation into the firing of Aurora Community College Professor Nathanial Bork, apparently in retaliation for his criticism of weakened academic standards, the AAUP's Greg Scholtz said "When the person who is most interested in the students’ learning, and who knows most about the subject matter, can’t control the course, then what happens to higher education?”

12.08.2016 | Student Journalists Are Under Threat

Columnist Rebecca Schuman looks at the student media report jointly issued by the AAUP and says, "The last thing we need right now, in the creeping shadow of American authoritarianism, is an entire generation of fledgling journalists who’ve come up thinking censorship is acceptable."

12.07.2016 | What Remains of Tenure

University of Wisconsin Regents are proposing a revision to posttenure review policies to require an "independent review" by a dean, provost, chancellor, or designee. David Vanness of the UW-Madison AAUP warned of “enormous and unchecked power that could easily be applied to pressure faculty into behaving in a matter that is considered politically acceptable. Its use, or even threat of its use, could have a chilling effect on research and teaching activities.”

12.02.2016 | Report Details Dangers to College Media

The news editor of the Miami University of Ohio's student newspaper considers the impact of the AAUP's jointly issued student media report. Commenting on the importance of high-quality training for young journalists, Ohio Newspaper Association executive director Dennis Hetzel said “With what’s just happened in our presidential election, the credibility of the media, the trust in the media has probably never been a bigger concern in American history."

11.29.2016 | 3 SC Professors on Group’s List of ‘Leftist’ Teachers

Clemson University issued a statement defending the free speech of two of its faculty members, who are among three in South Carolina added to Turning Point USA's "Professor Watchlist." Brandon Inabinet, South Carolina AAUP conference president, warned about the list's impact on both faculty and students, commenting "If lists like this are used to find professors that agree with a student’s viewpoints, it really defeats the purpose of what a university is about.” 

11.28.2016 | Professor Watchlist Is Seen as Threat to Academic Freedom

A new website accuses about 200 college professors of advancing “leftist propaganda in the classroom” and discriminating against conservative students. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said, “There is a continuing cycle of these sorts of things. They serve the same purpose: to intimidate individuals from speaking plainly in their classrooms or in their publications," adding the site could be used to harass professors or sabotage them from gaining jobs or promotions.

11.22.2016 | Being Watched

Conservative organization Turning Point USA is encouraging students to identify faculty who "advance leftist propaganda" by registering them on the "Professor Watchlist" website. AAUP associate secretary Hans-Joerg Tiede said, “The AAUP has spoken out against organizations that conduct these kinds of activities going back to the 1920s, when it was the American Legion, through the 1980s, when it was an organization that called itself Accuracy in Academia.”

11.22.2016 | Saving Academia from Trump's "Post-Truth" Nation

Andre Perry comments on the importance of upholding AAUP standards for postsecondary education and on the threats to academic freedom for teachers at all levels after an election that has devalued truth. "Power is truth’s biggest enemy. Not only must educational institutions defend the practice of tenure, we must vigorously protect (through tenure) educators who expose America’s biggest lie – the idea of white superiority."

11.18.2016 | Vital Faculty Voices Going Unheard in IPFW Debate

Faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) who objected to proposed program and governance changes have garnered support from colleagues at Indiana University-Bloomington and Purdue University at West Lafayette. David Sanders, chair of the Purdue University Senate at West Lafayette expressed concern that "almost all of the actions of the board of trustees, in fact, occur in secret" with "only a facade of open public meetings.” The AAUP sent a letter on behalf of IPFW  faculty to Chancellor Vicky Carwein.

11.18.2016 | An Urgent Request to Trump from Civil Rights Advocates

The AAUP joined over 100 organizations in signing a letter to president-elect Donald Trump calling on him to condemn acts of hate that have increased dramatically since the election. The letter, co-authored by the American Federation of Teachers and the Southern Poverty Law Center, declares, “We ask you to use your position, your considerable platform and even your tweets to send a clear message that hate has no place in our public discourse, in our public policy or in our society.”

11.09.2016 | AAUP Warns of Historic Threat to Academic Freedom Posed by Trump

The AAUP expressed concern over threats to academic freedom, privatization of higher education, and more in the wake of the 2016 election. 

11.07.2016 | Rigor, Faculty Rights, Completion

Instructor says he was fired, shortly after he complained to accreditor, for refusing to water down his curriculum and requirements. Another instructor quit rather than comply. The AAUP is investigating this case.

11.01.2016 | Colorado Department of Higher Ed Joins Probe into CCA After Prof's Firing

A week after the AAUP announced its investigation into the firing of adjunct professor Nathanial Bork at the Community College of Aurora, the Colorado Department of Higher Education is looking into recent curriculum changes at the college.

10.27.2016 | How Trump Is Dividing Jerry Falwell’s University

At Liberty University, Donald Trump's candidacy has spurred debates about free speech and free inquiry on campus. The AAUP's Joerg Tiede points out media policies that prohibit faculty from speaking with the press constitute “an interference in faculty members’ academic freedom,” and are another reason more professors should have tenure. Tiede says, “We certainly define academic freedom [to include] the freedom to speak to the press."

10.26.2016 | Firing of Part-Time Aurora Professor Piques Interest

The AAUP is investigating the firing of Nathanial Bork, an adjunct philosophy professor at Community College of Aurora.

10.25.2016 | Can Your Productivity Be Measured?

A book offers critiques of using big data to measure the output of professors and institutions, arguing that technique is equivalent to “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” David Hughes, Rutgers AAUP-AFT president, asks, “What consequences might flow from such a warped set of metrics?" 

10.24.2016 | Loss of Big 12 Good News for UC

Ohio AAUP leaders John McNay and Ron Jones write, "We support our student athletes and want them to have the opportunity to compete. We do not advocate the elimination of sports, but we do believe that the university must dramatically reduce the subsidy to athletics – and the sooner the better. Athletics should no longer be immune to the starvation budgets too many of our academic departments and colleges are facing."

10.14.2016 | Citizen Impact WSU Budget Issues

Logan Martinez discusses the Wright State University budget crisis, its origins, its effects on faculty, staff, and students, and wider implications of the corporatization of public universities with AAUP members and leaders Adrian Corbett, John McNair, Sirisha Naidu, Tom Rooney, and WSU lecturer Andrea Harris. 

10.11.2016 | As Concerns Grow About Using Data to Measure Faculty, a Company Changes Its Message

Academic Analytics, a company seeking to provide data on faculty productivity, has come under fire for providing inaccurate and insufficient data. Georgetown decided to drop the service. David Hughes, president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, said, "Our objection, fundamentally, is that these corporate-derived measurement tools, if successful, will narrow scholarly life." 

10.06.2016 | The Reason Behind Colleges' Ballooning Bureaucracies

Universities’ executive, administrative, and managerial offices continued to grow during the recession, even as budgets were cut and tuition increased. Howard Bunsis, chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress, weighs in.

09.29.2016 | Shared Governance, Not Shared Power

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) asked university presidents, board members and faculty how well they feel shared governance is functioning on their campuses. The AGB's findings will be presented among many panels at the upcoming AAUP shared governance conference.

09.28.2016 | A Look Inside Fordham's Financials: Bunsis Analysis

Amidst an ongoing dispute between the faculty senate and administration over the legality of the faculty salary imposition, the faculty senate sponsored a comprehensive analysis of Fordham’s financial condition directed by Howard Bunsis, professor of accounting at EMU and chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress. 

09.27.2016 | Grad Employees Union Seeks Greater Stake in Presidential Search

The Graduate Employees Union at Portland State University is working for a larger voice in their upcoming presidential search.

09.22.2016 | Wright State University’s Budget Crisis Sparks On-Campus Protests

Wright State students held protests on campus calling out the administration for mishandling money and cutting faculty.

09.20.2016 | UI AAUP to Explain National Group's Sanction

Members of the University of Iowa AAUP chapter will hold a community discussion about the association's sanction vote against the university.

09.19.2016 | Walking the Tenure Tightrope

In addition to its central role in protecting academic freedom, this feature looks at the critical role tenure plays in scientific research, breakthroughs and maintaining high quality higher education. It also addresses key myths. AAUP members Rebecca Roesner and Judith Burstyn join the AAUP's Joerg Tiede in weighing in.

09.16.2016 | Kennesaw State Profs Sound an Early Alarm about a Sam Olens Takeover

The Kennesaw State AAUP chapter urged the Board of Regents to endorse a nationwide presidential search engaging a faculty committee, alumni, students and community leaders following of rumors that Attorney General Sam Olens is tapped for the job. 

09.12.2016 | Professor Group Criticizes WSU in Call to Avoid Job Cuts

The Wright State AAUP chapter calls on the school to avoid firing faculty because of "fiscal mismanagement by the central administration." AAUP-WSU president Marty Kich pointed out that  the school "has poured funds into entities and auxiliaries (e.g., Wright State Applied Research Corporation, Intercollegiate Athletics, Double Bowler, ad infinitum) which neither generate enough revenue to pay for themselves nor support the core mission of our university," and said, "These misplaced priorities have continued in the budget cuts (still only vaguely delineated) made this summer, in which acade

09.07.2016 | Guest View: New U of I President Doesn't Get It

University of Iowa professor and AAUP member Loren Glass sheds light on the work of AAUP and the significance of censure or sanction.

09.06.2016 | Profs Seek Audit of Community Colleges, Citing Low Pay, Soaring Revenue

A letter from Caprice Lawless, AAUP vice president and part-time instructor at Front Range Community College, to the Colorado General Assembly's Legislative Audit Committee seeking an audit of the college system is part of an ongoing campaign to bring attention to pay inequities faced by adjunct faculty.

08.31.2016 | US Board Gives Student Assistants Unionization Rights

The NLRB ruled last week that students at private universities and colleges, working as teaching or research assistants, are employees with the right to join unions. Monday, graduate students from ten Yale University departments filed a petition to the NLRB requesting certification of a local union to represent them. "Graduate employees deserve a seat at the table and a voice in higher education. Collective bargaining can provide that," said Howard Bunsis, AAUP-CBC.

08.31.2016 | University of Iowa Struggles with Retaining Faculty

The UI administration aims to keep faculty salaries competitive, while the effects of the AAUP sanction of UI could make it more difficult to recruit new faculty. Professor Katherine Tachau, president of the UI AAUP chapter, said the last two years have seen an increased number of faculty leaving the institution.

08.31.2016 | Faculty Union Reaches Five-Year Contract Deal with University

Hofstra’s AAUP faculty union reached a tentative contract agreement with the university, just hours before the previous agreement expired and the chapter was set to demonstrate in response. Chapter president Dennis Mazzocco said, “All of Hofstra’s faculty is fortunate that their university respects collective bargaining rights," adding, "The university is in really good shape. This sets the stage to retain and recruit faculty.”

08.30.2016 | Yale Graduate Students File Petition to Form Union

After last week's NLRB ruling giving students at private universities the right to organize, Yale graduate students filed a petition Monday to form a union.“This is an extremely important ruling for graduate students at Yale where GESO has been working for many, many years for official recognition as a union,” said Irene Mulvey, treasurer of the Connecticut Conference of the AAUP.

08.25.2016 | Is CSU's Tony Frank Worth $700K?

Colorado State University president and chancellor Tony Frank's salary was padded by a $100,000 bonus earlier this month, though his compensation still trails the head football and basketball coaches. Tim McGettigan, AAUP member and sociology professor, previously took up the topic of administrative bloat at CSU here

08.24.2016 | NLRB: Graduate Students at Private Universities May Unionize

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate research and teaching assistants are entitled to collective bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act. 

08.23.2016 | Michigan's Public Colleges Spend Millions to Subsidize Athletics

Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan spent a combined $72.6 million in institutional funds to pay for athletics in 2015. "This is real money we're talking about, money that many of these students are going to pay back, with interest," said Lisa Minnick, president of WMU's AAUP chapter. "It means that students are taking out larger loans, not for educational purposes but to help subsidize the football program."

08.17.2016 | Can Grad Students Unionize? Academia Awaits Major Labor Board Ruling

A major ruling expected soon from the NLRB may recognize graduate students as university employees and entitled to protections under US law, including those related to collective bargaining. Matilda Stubbs, a graduate worker at Northwestern and Eric Powell, member of the University of Chicago's AAUP chapter Graduate Students United, describe what the decision may mean for them.

08.16.2016 | Regents Name Critic of University of Iowa Search to Co-Chair UNI's Search

UNI professor and active AAUP member Daniel J. Power will co-chair the 20-member committee vetting applicants to replace former UNI President Bill Ruud. Regent Katie Mulholland, who will co-chair the committee, stated a commitment to an "open and transparent process, very similar to the last UNI presidential search process, which will bring candidates to campus in November for meetings with constituent groups prior to Board of Regents interviews of the finalists in December." She added, "The AAUP guidelines for university presidential searches provided the backbone for the UNI process."

08.14.2016 | UC Spending on 'Athletic Arms Race' Irresponsible

Ohio AAUP leaders Ron Jones and John McNay point out that as the University of Cincinnati spends less on students and more on athletics, students are also putting in more to the athletic program and the program's debt grows. "When UC doubles and triples down on athletics, it takes money away from students as a whole," they say. This out of control spending "deprives the students, the faculty, the city and the state of Ohio of resources that could truly bolster the academic mission of the university." 

08.12.2016 | UPDATE: UNI Faculty Pay Inequities Righted, Pay Increases Coming to 51

After two years of collaboration between the University of Northern Iowa faculty union and the UNI administration, a major agreement has been reached to rectify faculty salary inequities.

08.12.2016 | UNI Gives Raises to 51 Faculty to Address Pay Inequity

Administrators and AAUP-United Faculty leaders at the University of Northern Iowa agreed to a plan to raise 51 faculty members' salaries this summer to correct for gender, race and other inequities in pay across campus. "Faculty care deeply for our students and for the university and local community and are at the heart of our institution. We are deeply appreciative of the collaboration with United Faculty to investigate and resolve an important issue," UNI interim president Jim Wohlpart said.

08.10.2016 | Biopic of Civil Rights Activist Angela Davis in Development from ‘Dope’ and ‘Fruitvale Station’ Producer

The rights to civil rights activist Angela Davis' autobiography were recently acquired by Codeblack Films and may result in a biopic. The AAUP successfully fought Davis' dismissal from UCLA  by the UC Board of Regents on the grounds of her political affiliations. 

07.29.2016 | From Laid-Off Professor to Provost

After being laid off by the University of Southern Maine in 2014 amidst budget struggles, Professor Jeannine Diddle Uzzi tried to move on to the next step in her career. However, with the hiring of a new president, she was approached to become a part of the University community once again as provost.

07.20.2016 | Hofstra University offers debate spots for WSU students

Wright State President David Hopkins announced the university has withdrawn from hosting the first presidential debate in September. Martin Kich, AAUP-WSU president said, “If the alternative is we would be left with a sizeable financial liability because of this, then I think it’s the smart thing to do."

07.14.2016 | When a 40% Raise Is Just Getting Started

The University of Memphis has proposed an increase in minimum adjunct pay from $1,500 to $2,100 per three-credit-hour course. Though it marks the first pay raise for adjuncts at the university in three decades, some adjuncts at other universities are winning contracts with minimums more than three times higher. Under the new minimum, adjuncts at the University of Memphis who teach a full load of three courses for two semesters could still fall near the poverty threshold and below a full-time minimum wage employee.

07.14.2016 | University of Iowa Sees Another Increase in Faculty Resignations

The 100 faculty resignations during the 2016 budget year is up 11 percent from last year and 52 percent from the 2014 budget year, marking the highest number of faculty resignations since at least 1987, according to Board of Regents records. The resignations came during a tumultuous year at the university, including the arrival of Bruce Harreld as president. The selection of former IBM businessman Harreld resulted in votes of no-confidence from faculty and student leaders in the Board of Regents and a sanction by the AAUP.

07.13.2016 | Iowa Board of Regents Executive Director Made More Than Double His Capped Salary

Deferred compensation and bonuses increased Robert Donley's pay to $338,466. John Barnshaw, AAUP senior higher education researcher, said while deferred compensation plans are not uncommon in higher education, salary caps are generally made to be honored.

07.01.2016 | At UK, Presidential Pay Growing Much Faster Than Faculty Pay

After the University of Kentucky lost significant state funding, announced layoffs and a 5 percent tuition increase, many were shocked to hear UK President Eli Capilouto would get a 48 percent increase in his base pay, bringing it to $790,000. John Barnshaw, AAUP senior higher education researcher, explains the ways in which university boards tend to underestimate the value of faculty, who help students stay in school. 

06.30.2016 | Not Too Late for Grove City’s ‘Sorry’ to Professor

More than fifty years after a Cold War–era firing, the Pennsylvania school Grove City College is in good standing again. “We’re immensely pleased that they took steps to apologize. No institution has ever done that before,” said Gregory Sholtz, the director of the AAUP’s academic freedom and tenure program.

06.29.2016 | AAUP Honors Stephen Finner

Stephen L. Finner of Barre City was honored at the AAUP annual meeting for his 50 years of activism and dedicated support of AAUP principles and standards in higher education. As the director of collective bargaining services from 1979 to 2003, he visited more than 300 colleges and universities organizing faculty and AAUP chapters. One of the units Finner helped organize was United Academics, the faculty union at the University of Vermont, which he now works for part time as the senior consultant for higher education.

06.28.2016 | The No-Jobs Myth

Carolyn Betensky, associate professor of English at the University of Rhode Island, speaks out against the two tiered system in academe and urges tenured professors to keep the pressure on to improve working conditions for all in the profession. 

06.24.2016 | National Association of College Professors Lifts Decades-Long Censure of Metropolitan Community College

AAUP membership voted to lift the censure imposed in 1984 on Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City.

06.24.2016 | Union County College Slammed With Sanction by AAUP

Union County College (NJ) was placed on AAUP's sanction list for violating widely accepted principles of academic government. Derek McConnell, president of the UCC AAUP chapter, and William Lipkin, secretary treasurer of United Adjunct Faculty of New Jersey, speak about conditions at UCC and next steps.

06.20.2016 | Censures for Mizzou, Saint Rose

This article describes a number of describing decisions made at last Saturday's annual meeting, including censure and sanctions and the removal of institutions from the censure and sanction list. 

06.20.2016 | Racial Literacy as a Professor's Responsibility

Shaun Harper, author of Race Matters in College, discussed faculty members' role and responsibilities in classroom conversations about race.

06.19.2016 | Melissa Click Firing Lands University of Missouri on Association Censure List for Third Time

The AAUP voted unanimously at its annual meeting Saturday to place the University of Missouri on its censure list for the third time, this time for violations in academic due process in firing Melissa Click. Nicole Monnier, associate teaching professor at MU, explains the curators’ investigation of Click was irregular and could be a precedent for unilateral action against any faculty member in the future.

06.19.2016 | Professors Group Adds Saint Rose to Censure List

The College of Saint Rose was placed on the censure list Saturday for violating principles of academic freedom and tenure.

06.18.2016 | University of Iowa Sanctioned for Presidential Search

Harreld’s selection prompted votes of no-confidence from the UI Faculty Senate and UI student government for its disregard for shared university governance. UI history professor Katherine Tachau and UI biology professor John Logsdon weigh in.

06.17.2016 | Overcoming a Racist Legacy

Faculty and staff from the University of Mississippi discuss how university with a reputation for historically being inhospitable to black students overcome that part of its heritage at the AAUP's higher ed conference.

06.17.2016 | What Are College Governing Boards Getting From Their Search Firms?

James H. Finkelstein, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, presents a new study on the role of executive search firms in the process at public colleges and whether taxpayers are getting their money’s worth. He says by hiring a search firm, "governing boards are outsourcing their most important responsibilities."

06.14.2016 | Faculty Unionize at Northern Illinois U

The Illinois Labor Relations Board certified a new faculty union at Northern Illinois University.

06.14.2016 | EMU Move to Privatize Food Services Draws Flack

A move to privatize food service operations across Eastern Michigan University is drawing criticism from some faculty and students, who are upset with how the university is describing the move and the impact the switch could have on students. AAUP members and leaders get involved.

06.09.2016 | Academics in Sexual Minorities Can Feel a Need to Stay Closeted

A Q&A with Sean Robinson, who will present findings and speak on this topic at the AAUP annual conference in DC. Robinson conducted a study and found that although society is becoming more tolerant of members of sexual-minority groups, many academics feel pressure to remain closeted to safeguard their careers. 

06.09.2016 | Cuts Questioned at U of Chicago

Faculty members and students worry they're paying the price for construction projects amid a focus on cutting administrative costs.

06.09.2016 | Table Trouble

Kean University is taking heat for the quarter-million-dollar conference table it bought in 2014. Howard Bunsis, chairman of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress points out that Kean is spending less money on instructional priorities and more on administrative costs, adding, "The money needs to be spent on the students. ... We need to be sure that the students can get through. All the focus needs to be is, how can we help these students and their families succeed? What kind of resources can we give them?" 

06.08.2016 | UI Offers More Protections for Lecturer Faculty

The University of Iowa approved a new policy aiming to improve working conditions for about 280 lecturers.The new policy grants non-tenured faculty members representation on the Faculty Senate, grievance rights, more transparent workload expectations, and stated pathways to promotion.

06.04.2016 | Five Reasons Why Student Debt Is Skyrocketing

A look at college costs growing faster than inflation, states slashing funding for higher education, universities spending more on administrative salaries and campus amenities, students not always understanding how loans work, and Americans not seeing a raise in years. AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum says, "What is driving costs is the metastasizing army of administrators with bloated salaries, and our university presidents who are now paid as though they were CEOs running a business -- and not a very successful one at that."

06.03.2016 | When Universities Try to Behave Like Businesses, Education Suffers

In his column, Michael Hiltzik says, "What’s really at stake in the corporatization of academia is the traditional role the university as a repository of culture and training ground for open inquiry." Hank Reichman, AAUP first vice president, weighs in.

06.02.2016 | Concerns Surface Over WSU Budget and Debate Costs

As Wright State University faces major budget challenges and plans to cut millions of dollars from the budget, raise tuition and cut staff, it also looks to host a presidential debate in September which would cost eight million dollars. Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president and professor of economics at Wright State University, is not confident that the university will raise that money and feels it's a bad expenditure. 

06.02.2016 | Portland State Graduate Employees' Union Approved

This week, Oregon's Employment Relations Board certified PSU's Graduate Employees Union, confirming the AAUP/AFT-affiliated union for 800 administrative, teaching and research assistants.

05.29.2016 | Editorial: Excellence in Higher Education Starts With Better Pay for Instructors

The Post-Dispatch editorial board writes, "The demands placed on adjuncts are enormous, and they have well-founded reasons for asserting that their employment rights are being abused in the name of cost-cutting." With AAUP data, they paint a bleak picture of more and more part-time teachers paired with less and less money spent on instruction in every sector in higher education. They point out specific challenges that part-time faculty face and express support for the organizing efforts of instructors in higher ed. 

05.28.2016 | Why Do So Few Tenured Professors Get Fired? Because It Is Really Hard to Get Tenure.

Alan Talaga explains, "Tenure ends up being a job for life for many professors because they’ve dedicated their lives" to the job.

05.24.2016 | UI's Presidential Search Looms Over UNI

The AAUP's governance committee convenes Wednesday to decide whether to call for sanctions over the controversial process that led to last year’s hiring of the University of Iowa president. Also Wednesday, the president of the Iowa Board of Regents is to be deposed as part of a lawsuit claiming the UI search process violated Iowa's open government laws. "The regents do now have an opportunity to improve upon their process for the hiring of the University of Northern Iowa,” said Hans-Joerg Tiede, the associate secretary for AAUP’s department of academic freedom, tenure and governance.

05.19.2016 | University of Northern Iowa president: 'They recruited me'

University of Northern Iowa President Bill Ruud said Thursday he was “recruited hard” by Marietta College in Ohio and became convinced the move was a “great next stop” for him. Joe Gorton, president of UNI’s United Faculty union and AAUP chapter, said he believes Ruud was driven out and if, so, sees it as a great disappointment. In a letter to colleagues, Gordon expressed shock over President Rudd's departure and said, “It was his ability to work with us in good faith that led (United Faculty) to withdraw our request for an AAUP censure of UNI.”

05.19.2016 | Report: University of Missouri Curators Bowed to Political Pressure in Melissa Click Firing

Melissa Click’s firing undermined University of Missouri administrators’ authority and was more likely a result of political pressure for her removal than her actual offenses, a report from the AAUP concludes. Because the Board of Curators voted to fire Click without engaging in the normal process for disciplining faculty, in an atmosphere of political pressure and administrative turmoil, “academic freedom and shared governance at MU are endangered,” the investigators wrote.

05.18.2016 | David J. Vanness: The quality, value and prestige of a UW degree are at risk

UW-Madison AAUP chapter president David Vanness points out that the statewide votes of no confidence in University of Wisconsin System leadership are not solely about the weakened tenure policies; in fact, educational quality concerns remain paramount.

05.16.2016 | A Year Later, Temple Professor Haunted by Spying Allegations

A year after federal prosecutors accused renowned Temple University physicist Professor Xiaoxing Xi of selling secrets to China and long after charges were dropped, Xi is searching for peace of mind, concerned about the future and implications for academic freedom.

05.12.2016 | Review of Hans-Joerg Tiede's "University Reform: The Founding of the American Association of University Professors"

Luther Spoehr, a Brown University lecturer, reviews associate secretary Hans-Joerg Tiede's book on AAUP founding history.

05.10.2016 | Tenured Faculty: Still a Man's World at IU, Other Big Ten Schools

The number of male tenure and tenure track faculty members is almost double the number for women at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus, according to a report from the Bloomington Faculty Council. Anne Sisson Runyan, chairwoman of the AAUP's committee on women in the academic profession points out while more women may be qualified for tenure track positions, unless there is a sudden and dramatic increase in the number of those positions, it will take a long time to erase the discrepancy. 

05.09.2016 | U Illinois Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Union Ratifies Contract

The non-tenure-track faculty union at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignm, an AFT and AAUP-affiliated union, ratified its first contract late last week, after two strikes since April over stalled negotiations. Standardization of multiyear contracts for eligible instructors was one key issue of concern. Union president and English lecturer Shawn Gilmore said the contract will “stabilize the working lives of non-tenure-track faculty” and ensure the “long-term support they deserve.” 

05.09.2016 | UW President Ray Cross: Tenure Debate Exposed 'Real Value' of Removing It from State Law

Before the University of Wisconsin system board of regents voted on the controversial new tenure policy, system President Ray Cross wrote to board of regents vice president that the debate “has exposed the real value of removing tenure related policies from statutory language.” David Vanness, UW-Madison AAUP president said, “Under the new UW tenure policy, a high quality academic program (say, climate science) can be shut down and its faculty laid off so that other programs (say, petroleum engineering) deemed to be of higher priority can expand. Should we shut down African studies to fund a

05.04.2016 | Tenure Is Crucial to Academic Freedom

Professor Daryl P. Domning explains the value of tenure in a letter. He says, "Eviscerating unions harmed our economy and society; abolishing tenure would do the same to our universities."

05.04.2016 | AAUP Releases Report on Controversial College of Saint Rose Cuts

The AAUP issued a report on controversial cuts made to programs and faculty positions at the College of Saint Rose and the college responds.

05.04.2016 | Shedding Faculty at Saint Rose

The AAUP condemns College of Saint Rose for shedding more than 20 tenure-line faculty jobs with insufficient faculty input.

05.02.2016 | U. of Wisconsin at Madison Faculty Votes No Confidence in System’s President and Regents

The Faculty Senate announced that professors at the University of Wisconsin at Madison voted no confidence in the university system’s president, Raymond W. Cross, and its Board of Regents.

05.01.2016 | UI Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Vote Unanimously to Call off Strike

Non tenure-track faculty at the UIUC reached a tentative contract agreement contract with the University of Illinois and voted to call off their 2-day-old strike.

04.25.2016 | Faculty and Students Call for Eastern Michigan to Drop Division 1 Football

Faculty and students at Eastern Michigan released a report calling for the university to drop Division 1 football after years of struggle and large costs to both the university and students.

04.25.2016 | UW-Madison Faculty to Take ‘No-Confidence’ Vote on Board of Regents, Ray Cross

University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty prepare for a “no-confidence” vote on the UW system Board of Regents and president Ray Cross after their handling of changes to tenure policy.
 

04.21.2016 | AAUP: Problems the Non Tenure Faculty Coalition Is Fighting Are Similar to Problems in Higher Ed across Nation

The Daily Illini connects the Non Tenure Faculty Coalition strike this week to employment trends in colleges and universities nationwide.

04.21.2016 | It's Not Money. Here Are the Sticking Points in UI Contract Talks

Non tenure-track faculty at the University of Illinois returned to work after a two-day strike, but they have further actions in mind for the future. They are most concerned with achieving guarantees of shared governance and academic freedom and multi-year contracts.

04.20.2016 | Illinois Adjunct Strike Continues Today

Non-tenure-track professors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign conducted a two-day strike Tuesday and Wednesday over stalled negotiations for their first union contract. NTFC Local 6546 is an AFT/IFT/AAUP local.

04.20.2016 | Faculty at Plymouth State University Vote to Form Union

This week, faculty at Plymouth State University voted to form a union with the AAUP. Professor of biology Chris Chabot says this will give faculty at PSU a unified voice. 

04.19.2016 | College Costs Arms Race

Howard Bunsis, chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress, and David Hughes, president of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, discuss college sports spending and priorities.

04.15.2016 | Professors' Association Moves to Help Fired LSU Instructor

The AAUP, concerned about violations to academic freedom and shared governance, provided a grant to from its Academic Freedom Fund to assist LSU associate professor Buchanan with litigation costs related to her firing.

04.12.2016 | How to Deal with a Glut of Part-Time Academics? Make Them Full-Time

The Chicago Reader looks at the AAUP Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession and recommendation for colleges and universities to adopt plans for converting part-time jobs to full-time jobs, and contingent faculty to tenured.

04.12.2016 | Latest critics of trigger warnings and microaggression: University professors

AAUP general counsel Risa Lieberwitz sheds light on the new report “The History, Uses and Abuses of Title IX,” which expresses concern over the conflation of sexual misconduct and protected speech on college campuses.

04.11.2016 | Professor Pay Up 3.4%

For full-time, continuing faculty, salaries increased by 3.4 percent over the past year, 2.7 percent when adjusted for inflation, according to the new AAUP Report on the Economic Status of the Profession for 2015-16.

04.11.2016 | Financial Analysis of SF State Reveals No Structural Deficit

Eastern Michigan University accounting professor and AAUP leader Howard Bunsis visited SF State April 7 to examine the University’s financial situation, with special attention given to Ethnic Studies funding. Bunsis announced that SF State was not operating at a structural deficit like administration officials claimed, and that money should not be cut from any of the colleges. “SF State is in solid financial condition; they have sufficient reserves,” Bunsis said. Since the analysis, the CFA and CSU struck a tentative agreement postponing a strike.

04.07.2016 | Are Grad Students Employees? Labor Board to Weigh in Again

Graduate students at private universities are pushing to be acknowledged as employees with the same rights as other American workers, including organizing unions. Aaron Nisenson, AAUP senior counsel, explains that unions in higher education are increasingly important.

04.04.2016 | Editorial: Defending Free Speech on College Campuses

The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board says free expression is not faring well on American campuses, drawing heavily on the AAUP's recent Title IX report.

03.27.2016 | Free Speech on Campus: Report Says Professors Are Threatened

AAUP general counsel Risa Lieberwitz explains a new report and describes a pattern of Title IX being applied in an overly broad way on university and college campuses, leaving faculty vulnerable to complaints about classroom material.

03.24.2016 | Professors’ Group Says Efforts to Halt Sexual Harassment Have Stifled Speech

A new report by the AAUP examines a growing federal emphasis on fighting sexual harassment on campus, combined with universities’ broadening definitions of inappropriate sexual behavior and the chilling effect on academic freedom and speech. 

03.23.2016 | AAUP Investigating Professor Melissa Click's Termination

KMIZ reports on the investigation into the firing of Melissa Click at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO this week. They also look at prior AAUP censures of MU. Bill Wickersham, an MU assistant professor at the time of the last censure in the 1970s said, "Whether you're right or wrong you have to have due process. AAUP always insists that there's faculty input and you don't just go to the president, or the chancellor, or the board of curators."

03.15.2016 | As Protests Increase, Student Demands Get More Ambitious

Hank Reichman, AAUP first vice president and chair of Committee A, offers his perspective on the increasing numbers of demands lists coming from black students at campuses across the country. 

03.14.2016 | DSU Cuts More than a Quarter of Its Majors

Delaware State University cut 23 low-enrollment academic programs, more than a quarter of its offerings, to invest in higher-growth areas expected to bring in more students and revenue. The AAUP's John Barnshaw says in the article, low enrollment does not always give a complete picture of the program's longer term viability. He advises universities to consider curtailing costs in non-academic areas like athletics and administration before cutting scholarship.

03.11.2016 | 'Fake' Tenure?

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved new tenure policies, rejecting proposals that would have maintained tenure protections.

03.10.2016 | U of Wisconsin Regents Consider New Tenure Policies

The board of regents for the University of Wisconsin System votes today on new tenure and faculty layoff policies. David Vanness, president of the AAUP UW-Madison chapter, points out a major problem with the proposed policy on is that it permits the administration “to discontinue programs (and lay off faculty) because other programs may be considered higher priority.” 

03.10.2016 | AAUP Says Censure over Salaita Case Could Be Removed in Spring

Censure imposed on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the Steven Salaita case may lift this spring. UI settled with Salaita in November and is working with the AAUP on remaining conditions, including commitments from the Board of Trustees to endorsing AAUP policies on due process and academic freedom.

03.08.2016 | Melissa Click Firing to Be Investigated by National Professors Group

The AAUP announced Monday it will investigate the firing of an assistant professor at MU. Professor Melissa Click formally appealed her dismissal last week.

03.07.2016 | Universities Run into Problems When They Hire Presidents from the Business World

University presidents, like Simon Newman of Mount Saint Mary's University, increasingly come from fields outside of academia, and their approach to business frequently comes up against the principles of shared governance in US higher education. The article references AAUP data on university presidents salaries, noting an increase from 2003 to 2012 of $100,000 on average.

03.04.2016 | Search for Truth in Peril on UW System Campuses

AAUP members Chad Alan Goldberg and Elena Levy-Navarro defend the principles of tenure, shared governance and academic freedom for the UW System in this op-ed. Next week, new recommended policies with implications for tenure and shared governance will come before the UW Board of Regents for a full board vote.

03.04.2016 | AAUP Threatens Investigation into Melissa Click's Firing, Foley Responds

The AAUP expresses concern over the circumstances of Melissa Click's firing and plans to meet as to whether to launch an investigation. 

03.01.2016 | Mount St. Mary's University President Simon Newman Resigns

After much controversy, the president of Mount Saint Mary's University resigned. Although two dismissed faculty members were reinstated, as the AAUP had urged, the situation created an atmosphere of distrust at the university with large concerns about academic freedom and institutional governance.

02.26.2016 | National Professors' Group Urges MU to Rehire Click

In a letter to the MU chancellor, the AAUP says MU did not follow its own rules in firing Click and insists that Click deserved “a hearing before an elected faculty body."

02.25.2016 | Mount Saint Mary's Case Raises Questions about Firing Professors

Mount Saint Mary's University's firing two professors for disloyalty made national news, as did the University of Missouri's suspension and subsequent firing of Professor Melissa Click. The AAUP's associate secretary Hans-Joerg Tiede discusses a growing trend of willingness among administrators to dismiss faculty for statements seen as damaging the public image of the school. Tiede points out faculty have a right to defend themselves in front of their peers, a right denied to Mount St. Mary’s professors and Click.

02.24.2016 | UConn Teachers Union Rally: Claim They’re Left Out of “University” Definition

UConn faculty, students and community members will attend a rally to build support for AAUP faculty working for a fair contract. After the administration’s chief negotiator said, "the university (is defined as) the Board of Trustees, the President, the Provost and the Deans,” without mention of students or the faculty, students and faculty are reasserting their voice in and role on campus.

02.24.2016 | Don't 'Go There'

Opponents of Texas's new campus concealed carry law, including faculty, argue it will chill academic freedom and free speech. Some recommendations from the University of Houston’s Faculty Senate on how to teach under campus carry amplifies concerns of its effects on academic freedom. Henry Reichman, chair of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, called a controversial presentation slide “ominous” on AAUP's “Academe” blog and told Inside Higher Ed that under such guidelines, “it's possible to teach but not well and not freely.” 

02.23.2016 | Stakes Are High in Graduate Assistant Organizing, Stakeholders on Both Sides Say

For graduate assistants hoping for a voice at work through collective bargaining, a lot rides on cases before the NLRB. Risa Lieberwitz, AAUP general counsel, says, "The universities are taking the position that they should be in the position of unilateral control."

02.21.2016 | Big money: CSU Leadership Raises Outpace Whole

The Coloradoan reports that salaries of administrators closest to the CSU President increased by an about 3.38 percent in 2015, significantly more than the average raise received by the rest of the university’s staff. This follows a trend of colleges and universities granting significantly higher raises to top administrators than to professors and other university staff. AAUP's Senior Higher Education Researcher John Barnshaw said, “Over the past five years, it’s become increasingly common."

02.19.2016 | UConn Professors, Adjunct Faculty Call for Unity at AAUP Panel Thursday

Rebecca Rumbo, an English professor teaching at UConn since 1997 but still considered a temporary employee, said at the panel,“Despite two-thirds of the classes being taught by adjuncts, they have no share in governance, this affects quality." With concerns over the current administration, the panel repeatedly stressed unity between all types of faculty as well as with the student population.

02.18.2016 | The New College Activists: Local Professors Join Forces

A new AAUP alliance of faculty from six northeast Pennsylvania institutions are uniting to take on the corporatization of higher education and overuse of adjunct staff. A conference for the caucus of the Pennsylvania Division of the AAUP on February 27 will focus on “best practices” for colleges and universities. Focusing on collaborative relationship between faculty and administrators, Mark Painter, President of Misericordia's AAUP chapter, said, "We feel we are all in this together.”

02.14.2016 | Supreme Court's Scalia Brought Conservative Outlook to Education Cases

One case related to education and public employee unions could have a very different outcome as a result of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's death. His death makes the likelihood of a deadlock in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association more likely, though it remains uncertain.

02.12.2016 | As Mount St. Mary’s Offers to Reinstate 2 Professors, Faculty Demands President Quit

Two faculty members fired for disloyalty were reinstated at Mount St. Mary's University. The faculty voted overwhelmingly to ask the university’s president to resign while philosophy professor Thane Naberhaus said he would not immediately accept the college’s reinstatement proposal.

02.10.2016 | Newspaper Adviser Is Fired After Students’ Scoop Roils Maryland Campus

On Monday, the president of Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland fired two faculty members without notice or faculty review.

02.03.2016 | Faculty Groups Remain Worried As Wisconsin Moves Closer To 'Fake Tenure'

Scott Walker moved to eliminate tenure from state law. Many remain concerned about the future of tenure in Wisconsin.

02.02.2016 | University Professors' Organization Calls for Melissa Click's Reinstatement

Hans-Joerg Tiede, associate secretary of the AAUP, sent a letter to University of Missouri Interim Chancellor Hank Foley Tuesday calling for Melissa Click to be reinstated to her normal faculty duties. By not affording Click a hearing prior to suspending her, it appears that she has been denied academic due process under widely accepted AAUP standards and principles.

01.30.2016 | AAUP Chairman Laments Administration Firing of LSU Professor

The AAUP investigated the dismissal of professor Teresa Buchanan from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, which has been on the AAUP’s list of censured administrations since 2012. Henry Reichman, chair of the AAUP's Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure says in this article that the lawsuit filed on Jan. 22 against LSU administrators is not the first of it's kind, and calls it "another case in which administrators have abused harassment rules and run roughshod over students and instructors."

01.30.2016 | Critics Say UW Tenure Policy up for Adoption Won't Protect Academic Freedom

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents soon meets about contentious proposals on tenure policy. UW faculty members express concerns that permitting layoffs to accommodate program changes short of discontinuation increases the risk that faculty could be targeted for controversial research or unpopular speech.

01.27.2016 | Fact Checker: Jeb Bush’s Claims about Too Few Friday College Classes and Workload of Tenured Professors

The Washington Post looks at campaign trail claims used by Jeb Bush to argue for higher education reforms. The AAUP's John Barnshaw provides context and responds to Bush's plea that tenured professors teach few classes and that universities do not have incentive to graduate students within four years affordably. Barnshaw points out that tenured professors at elite schools, doctoral research institutions and flagship public institutions, constituting several hundred schools, are more likely to teach fewer classes per semester but have the highest retention and completion rates.

01.24.2016 | Tenured Faculty Approves New Contract

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members of Kent State’s AAUP chapter (AAUP-KSU) voted overwhelmingly to approve a new collective bargaining agreement. 

01.21.2016 | Who Wants to Teach at Wheaton College?

Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins faces termination after stating Muslims and Christians "worship the same God." The AAUP's Hans-Joerg Tiede said, "the AAUP would prefer that institutions in general don't place these kinds of restrictions on academic freedom, but we have historically recognized the right of religious institutions to do so." Given that, the main question becomes "are faculty members aware, before they begin to work there, that Wheaton is an institution that restricts academic freedom?"

01.19.2016 | Higher Ed Teaching Force Continues to Shift Away from Tenure: Union Organizing Could Usher in a New Era in the History of Tenure, Which Has Seen Both Rises and Falls

While tenure promotes academic freedom in teaching and research, the percentage of faculty that is tenure-track has shifted dramatically over time. Author Tara Garcia Mathewson argues that a rise in successful adjunct union organizing could open the field to more tenure-track positions, and that successful organizing could bring in a new, post-tenure era of negotiated working conditions.

01.14.2016 | Faith and Freedom

Wheaton College, an evangelical, Protestant college in Illinois, seeks to fire a professor for violating its statement of faith. This high-profile conflict reopens debate on how statements of faith can be consistent with academic freedom. The AAUP does not object to statements of faith for faculty at religious colleges, but the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure states that limitations of academic freedom because of “religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.”

01.06.2016 | Is Tenure Essential?

The Council of Independent Colleges Presidents gathered at an open forum and drafted a list of characteristics that a panel of presidents identified as "essential" for their institutions, and another list they identified as "negotiable." Tenure did not make it to the "essential" list. Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president, was dismayed that college presidents did not see tenure as essential. He pointed out that tenure is the basis of academic freedom, and that the track record of colleges without tenure isn't one of preserving faculty rights.

01.05.2016 | More than 100 lawmakers demand that professor who ordered journalists away from Mizzou protesters get fired

Rudy Fichtenbaum called the lawmakers' demands a real overreach and said Click deserves due process from the university should they be concerned enough to consider termination. He said, “One of the reasons why universities have tenure is to protect academic freedom — that is to protect against what these legislators are calling for — outside interference with the running of the university. I think it would just really be the wrong thing to do to just kind of cave to that sort of political  pressure.”

12.28.2015 | Faculty at Iowa Universities Condemn 'Unpresidential' Remark

Faculty groups at Iowa public universities condemned controversial University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld's comment that unprepared teachers “should be shot” and called on the Board of Regents to “revisit” its decision to hire him.

12.24.2015 | AAUP Faculty Group Seeks Inquiry on College of Saint Rose Cuts

The AAUP plans to launch an investigation into faculty and program cuts at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Faculty members held rallies and protested lack of faculty involvement and adherence to shared governance principles.

04.02.2015 | Guest Commentary: How Many Chancellors Does CSU Need?

Tim McGettigan, AAUP member and sociology professor at CSU-Pueblo, asks "Who does Colorado State University exist to serve: overpriced administrators or cash-strapped students?" He points out that while the three chancellors are paid a combined $934,500 and one pushes for a $250 million luxury football stadium, students have seen tuition costs go through the roof and food relief programs try to address the needs of starving staff and faculty. 

03.03.2015 | Response to Harker OpEd by University of Delaware Chapter of the AAUP

Following the publication of President Harker’s OpEd in the Philadelphia Inquirer, faculty members across campus were justifiably offended by its characterization of higher education in general, and, specifically, the faculty, students, and of the University of Delaware.