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AAUP Policies & Reports

Academic Freedom and Tenure Investigative Reports

2020 | Academic Freedom and Tenure: Pacific Lutheran University (Washington)

This report, prepared by the Association’s staff, concerns the case of Dr. Jane Harty, a part-time faculty member with forty years of service in the Department of Music at Pacific Lutheran University. In November 2018, Dr. Harty was suspended from her teaching responsibilities for the remainder of her one-year contract and informed that she would not be reappointed for the following academic year. The stated reason for the action was that she had violated a directive issued by her department chair that prohibited faculty members from accepting payment from PLU students for private lessons given independently of the university. The summary nature of the action, the relatively minor character of the infraction, and the fact that Dr. Harty’s longtime advocacy for the rights of faculty members on contingent appointments had brought her into repeated conflict with her administrative superiors suggested that the administration had imposed the suspension for reasons that implicated principles of academic freedom.

2019 | Academic Freedom and Tenure: Nunez Community College (Louisiana)

This report concerns actions taken in spring 2018 by the administration of Nunez Community College to terminate the services of Professor Richard Schmitt following his twenty-second year on the faculty. These actions were taken in apparent violation of his academic freedom and without affordance of the protections of academic due process to which he was entitled as the result of having obtained de facto tenure at the institution through length of full-time service.

College and University Governance Reports

2019 | College and University Governance: Vermont Law School

This report concerns issues of academic governance stemming from the actions taken in spring 2018 by the administration of the Vermont Law School to “restructure” the law school’s faculty by lowering salaries, reducing the number of full-time positions, and eliminating the tenured status of fourteen of the nineteen tenured faculty members without meaning­fully involving the faculty in the decision-making process.

2019 | College and University Governance: Maricopa Community Colleges (Arizona)

This report concerns issues of academic governance stemming from the actions of the governing board of the Maricopa County Community College District to terminate the “meet-and-confer” provision of the residential faculty policies manual and to mandate the later repeal of the entire manual. For four decades, the faculty and administration had utilized the meet-and-confer process as a mechanism for establishing institutional policies related to faculty matters and for making recommendations to the board on salary and budgetary matters. The residential faculty policies manual contains policies and procedures relating to the full-time faculty, including provisions defining the faculty’s participation in governance.

Standing Committee and Subcommittee Reports

2020 | 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.

2020 | 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.

Research Reports

2020 | Policies on Academic Freedom, Dismissal for Cause, Financial Exigency, and Program Discontinuance

This report provides a statistical analysis of the presence of AAUP-recommended policies on academic freedom, dismissal for cause, financial exigency, and program discontinuance in faculty handbooks and collective bargaining agreements. In the best of times, analysis of their prevalence could usefully inform the work of AAUP chapters, faculty governance bodies, and higher education unions, but given the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on campuses around the coun­try, these data are now even more important to the advancement of the AAUP’s principles and policies. Statistical evidence of the widespread adoption of AAUP policy statements in faculty handbooks and contracts can reinforce the argument that institutional practices that depart from AAUP-supported standards are outside of the mainstream. Conversely, informa­tion about which institutional policies more frequently fall short of Association-recommended policies can be useful for faculty members engaged in reviewing regulations or contracts.

Audit Reports

2020 | AAUP Audit Reports

Audited reports of the AAUP's financial statements from the past three years.