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Purdue Global to Stop Requiring NDAs

Update: After we released the statement below, Purdue Global announced that it will rescind NDAs that have been already signed. Read more in Inside Highed Ed

This is a joint response by the national AAUP and the Indiana AAUP conference to Purdue Global’s announcement that it will immediately end the use of a nondisclosure agreement for faculty. 

The announcement today by Purdue Global that it will immediately stop requiring faculty to sign a nondisclosure agreement as a condition of employment is a huge victory. It not only removes a threat to the academic freedom of those currently employed by Purdue Global, but may serve as a bulwark against the use of these agreements by other academic institutions.

Purdue Global’s announcement comes in response to a public outcry that followed upon the AAUP’s exposure of its use of NDAs. The victory demonstrates that when faculty join together they have a powerful voice to protect academic freedom, shared governance, and higher education for the common good.

While we are pleased with Purdue Global’s reversal on this issue, its announcement does not make clear whether previously signed agreements are still in effect. Therefore, we are calling on Purdue Global to immediately rescind any existing NDAs with faculty. Beyond this, many concerns about its practices remain, including an overreliance on contingent labor, lack of shared governance procedures, and overall lack of protections for academic freedom.

Moreover, Purdue Global has not yet announced an end to another shameful practice, the use of forced arbitration agreements for students. Today is a step in the right direction, and we hope that Purdue Global will continue to make more positive changes in response to the concerns that we and others have raised as it transitions from being a for-profit institution to one that benefits the public.

Publication Date: 
Thursday, September 6, 2018