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Committee Reports

Higher Education at a Crossroads: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2015-16

Last year full-time continuing faculty experienced an inflation-adjusted increase in salary exceeding 2 percent for the first time since the Great Recession began more than seven years ago. This year, inflation-adjusted full-time continuing faculty salaries increased by 2.7 percent. Table A provides four decades of data on the percentage change in average salaries in both nominal (actual dollar) and real (inflation-adjusted) terms from one year to the next for all full-time continuing faculty whose institutions participated in the AAUP Faculty Compensation Survey.

Threats to the Independence of Student Media

A report, issued by the AAUP, the College Media Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the Student Press Law Center, that shines light on threats to student media. The report cites multiple cases in which college and university administrations have exerted pressure in attempts to control, edit, or censor student journalistic content. This pressure has been reported in every segment of higher education and every institutional type: public and private, four-year and two-year, religious and secular. The report finds that administrative efforts to subordinate campus journalism to public relations concerns are inconsistent with the mission of higher education to foster intellectual exploration and debate. And while journalism that discusses students’ dissatisfaction with the perceived shortcomings of their institutions can be uncomfortable, it fulfills an important civic function.

Visualizing Change: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2016-17

Between the 2015–16 and 2016–17 academic years, average salaries for full-time ranked faculty members (assistant, associate, and full professors) increased by 0.5 percent after adjusting for inflation. The average salary for full professors in 2016–17 was $102,402, the average salary for associate professors was $79,654, and the average salary for assistant professors was $69,206.

National Security, the Assault on Science, and Academic Freedom

The Trump administration’s alarming hostility to science has exacerbated already troubling threats to academic freedom in the physical and natural sciences in two different areas. In the area of international scientific exchange, Chinese or Chinese American scientists have been targeted and charged with espionage. The second area, the field of climate science, has been subjected to vicious attempts to discredit its validity, which have intensified significantly since Donald Trump took office.

The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2017-18

As several studies published during the past year have confirmed, higher education provides health and economic benefits that are vital to American society. These benefits, however, are threatened by ongoing political and financial attacks on higher education. Now, more than ever, faculty members and others who care about higher education must join together to resist these attacks.

Campus Free-Speech Legislation: History, Progress, and Problems

Claiming that free speech is “dying” on American campuses, a conservative think tank has led an effort to push states to adopt a model bill that, in the name of defending campus free speech, risks undermining it. This report seeks to understand the context and content of the “campus free-speech” movement, to track its influence within state legislatures, and to draw some conclusions concerning the best ways to respond to it.

The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2018-19

This year’s annual report provides an overview of the results of the 2018–19 AAUP Faculty Compensation Survey, which compiled data on more than 380,000 full-time faculty members at 952 colleges and universities, as well as improved data on pay and benefits for more than 64,000 part-time faculty members at more than 360 institutions. In addition, this year’s report examines the changes in full-time faculty salaries and appointment types, with a particular focus on progress toward gender equity, in the ten years since the Great Recession. Finally, the report explores some of the improved data on part-time faculty pay.

In Defense of Knowledge and Higher Education

This statement—adopted by the AAUP's Council and endorsed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, PEN America, and other organizations—advances an impassioned argument for the importance of expert knowledge and the institutions of higher education that produce and transmit it. Addressing an ongoing movement in the United States to attack the disciplines and institutions of higher education, the statement defends the critical role these institutions perform in producing the knowledge that sustains American democracy, especially in this moment of intense global instability.

The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2019-20

This year’s Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession summarizes results from the 2019–20 Faculty Compensation Survey, which collected data from 928 colleges and universities across the United States, including community colleges, small liberal arts colleges, and major research universities. The survey covered almost 380,000 full-time and more than 96,000 part-time faculty members, as well as senior administrators at nearly 600 institutions. Data collection began in December 2019 and concluded in February 2020, just as the first cases of COVID-19 were being reported in the United States.

On Campus Police Forces

This report of the Campus Police Working Group addresses the role of police on campus, the appropriateness of higher education institutions’ having their own police forces, the impact of systemic racism on campus policing, and changes needed to ensure that campuses are safe and welcoming for diverse peoples, especially those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

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