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2018 AAUP Updates

10.03.2018 | AAUP Remembers Robert O'Neil

We are very sorry to hear of the death of Robert O’Neil, a law professor and former president of the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin system, as well as the founding director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. Bob’s commitment to the AAUP spanned multiple decades and our association benefited greatly from his expertise and wise counsel.

09.25.2018 | AAUP Files Amicus Brief in Support of Faculty Union Rights in Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit v. NLRB

AAUP has filed an amicus brief in support of Duquesne University faculty who have voted to form a union, arguing that widespread acceptance of AAUP guidelines about academic freedom at religious institutions illustrates a straightforward path for determining the right of faculty to organize. The case, Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit v. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), is currently before the federal court of appeals in DC.

09.18.2018 | Unacceptable Attacks on Science

President Trump has attacked the credibility of a study that found some 2,975 excess deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017, claiming falsely that the study was "done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible.”

The AAUP takes no position on the accuracy of the study. But such research can be properly evaluated only by qualified experts through open channels of review and debate. For the president of the United States to accuse scholars of political bias, without a shred of evidence, is an unacceptable assault on independent research and the academic freedom of scientists.

09.06.2018 | AAUP Will Investigate Apparent Violations at Maricopa

The AAUP has appointed an ad hoc committee to formally investigate apparent departures from widely adopted standards of academic governance at Maricopa County Community College. The matter stems from a February resolution of the college’s governing board that terminated a “meet-and-confer” provision of the faculty policy manual and ordered the creation of a new manual that would severely limit the participation of the faculty in institutional governance.

09.06.2018 | Purdue Global to Stop Requiring NDAs

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  demonstrates that when faculty join together they have a powerful voice to protect academic freedom, shared governance, and higher education for the common good.

08.28.2018 | Victory at Rutgers

Remarks about gentrification and race made by Rutgers professor James Livingston on Facebook were the subject of a review by the university's Office of Employment Equity, which found that the posts were not protected by the First Amendment and furthermore violated the university’s policy on discrimination and harassment. After hearing from the national AAUP and the Rutgers AAUP/AFT chapter, Rutgers president Robert Barchi said that the administration would reconsider its finding and convene an advisory group of First Amendment and academic freedom scholars and attorneys. The administration subsequently reversed its finding.

08.22.2018 | Purdue Global Nondisclosure Agreement Runs Roughshod Over Faculty Rights

The AAUP has released a copy of a non-disclosure agreement that appears to be a condition of employment for Purdue Global employees, including instructional faculty. Last March Indiana’s Purdue University purchased the for-profit online institution Kaplan University which was rebranded as Purdue Global. The agreement, which asserts ownership the faculty’s teaching-related materials, undermines standard academic practice, violating faculty rights to their own intellectual property as well as their academic freedom.

08.08.2018 | Letter to Israeli Government On Katherine Franke

Today the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure has released a letter sent to the Israeli government about the interrogation, subsequent expulsion, and apparent banning from Israel of Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke in April.