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Research Reports

The 2022 AAUP Survey of Tenure Practices

The 2022 AAUP Survey of Tenure Practices, the first survey of its kind since 2004, offers a snapshot of prevailing tenure practices and policies at four-year institutions with tenure systems. Among the findings, the survey found that tenure is highly prevalent throughout US higher education, with 87 percent of four-year institutions that have a Carnegie Classification of bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral institution reporting having a tenure system.

The 2021 AAUP Shared Governance Survey: Findings on Faculty Roles by Decision-Making Areas

The 2021 AAUP Shared Governance Survey, the first such survey in two decades and the subject of this report, included questions about the level of faculty authority in twenty-nine areas. The survey provides a new snapshot comparing findings from previous years and gauging the impact of developments that have occurred in the intervening years. To achieve the latter objective, this year’s survey includes such topics as policies on intellectual property rights and modes of course delivery.

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.

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.