Resources on Academic Freedom

AAUP Policy Statements, Reports, & Analysis 

The policies published in the AAUP’s Policy Documents and Reports, also known as the "Redbook," have been formulated by standing and special AAUP committees and governing bodies, and at times in cooperation with other organizations.

Policy Statements

1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings. 1958.

Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments. 1989 revision.

On Trigger Warnings. 2014.

Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure. 2023 revision.

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications. 2013 revision.

Protecting an Independent Faculty Voice: Academic Freedom after Garcetti v. Ceballos. 2009. 

The Use and Abuse of Faculty Suspensions. 2023 revision. 

 Freedom in the Classroom. 2007.

Academic Freedom and Outside Speakers. 2023 revision.

 Statement on Corporate Funding of Academic Research. 2004.

 Verification and Trust: Background Investigations Preceding Faculty Appointment. 2004.

Academic Bills of Rights. 2003.

Incentives to Forgo Tenure. 2000.

Post-tenure Review. 1999 revision.

 On Freedom of Expression and Campus Speech Codes. 1994.

A Statement of the Association's Council: Freedom & Responsibility. 1990 revision.

 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure

 Member only content

Academic Freedom and the Law

Legal Round-Up: What’s New and Noteworthy for Higher Education? By AAUP counsel. These yearly legal roundups summarize and highlight significant court decisions and legal developments on this topic.

AAUP Amicus Briefs. Summaries of, and links to, AAUP amicus briefs filed in cases involving academic freedom.

Legal Cases Affecting Academic Speech. Summaries of important cases affecting academic speech.

Faculty Rights in the Classroom. 2017. By Aaron Nisenson, AAUP counsel. An article from Academe magazine.

Academic Freedom and the Law. Updated 2023. By Edward Swidriski, AAUP assistant counsel.

AAUP Informational Resources

Campus Free Speech FAQ. 2023. New guidance from the AAUP and AFT to help members navigate campus free speech and academic freedom in poitically charged contexts.

 Webinars on Academic Freedom Issues

Speak Up, Speak Out: Protect the Faculty Voice. An AAUP issue campaign, with supporting material, that was undertaken to enhance academic freedom at public colleges and universities.

Webinars on Committee A Work at the Chapter and Conference Level. This series of three webinars presented by Donna Young and Hans-Joerg Tiede focused on local matters related to Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure:

  • The AAUP Redbook
  • How to Read a Faculty Handbook
  • Chapter and Conference Committee A Matters

Manufacturing Backlash: Right-Wing Think Tanks and the Legislative Attack on Higher Education, 2021–2023. 2024. The first white paper by the Center for the Defense of Academic Freedom.

Investigations & Censure

List of Administrations Censured by the Association

What Is Censure?

Committee A Procedures

The AAUP's Censure List. 2003. By Jonathan Knight. A descriptive essay on the AAUP's definition of "censure," which evolved through debate on pivotal issues of faculty roles, powers, and duties.

If you didn’t find the documents you need, send an email to [email protected] for help.