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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

2021 | COVID-19 and Academic Governance

This report details an investigation of the crisis in academic governance that has occurred in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on eight institutions: Canisius College (NY), Illinois Wesleyan University, Keuka College (NY), Marian University (WI), Medaille College (NY), National University (CA), University of Akron, and Wittenberg University (OH). AAUP governance investigations are conducted under the aegis of the Association’s standing Committee on College and University Governance by AAUP members who have had no previous involvement in the cases under investigation. The investigating committee is charged with independently determining the relevant facts and the positions of the principal parties before reaching its findings.

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.

Committee Reports

2021 | 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.

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.

Research Reports

2021 | Survey Data on the Impact of the Pandemic on Shared Governance

Over the course of the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected higher education, including the conduct of shared governance, profoundly. In January and February 2021, the AAUP’s research department conducted a national shared governance survey of senate chairs and faculty governance leaders at four-year institutions—the first national survey about shared governance in two decades. One part of the questionnaire concerned the impact of the pandemic on shared governance, which is the focus of this report.

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.