2017 AAUP & CBC In the News

11.22.2017 | Chronicle of Higher Education

Proposed changes to policies that govern tenure, promotion, and faculty dismissals within the University of Arkansas system included language that moved professors there to quickly mobilize in opposition last month. Among the concerns is what faculty see as a thinly veiled attempt by the Board of Trustees to use collegiality as grounds for terminating a tenured professor. The AAUP has long opposed using collegiality as an explicit factor for evaluating faculty and makes the case that it poses a threat to academic freedom. 

11.22.2017 | Inside Higher Ed

The AAUP filed a joint amicus brief this week in support of a legal challenge to a Texas law permitting handguns on public college and university campuses, including classrooms.

11.21.2017 | Michigan Radio

Professors at Eastern Michigan University are pushing back against an arrangement between EMU and the for-profit company Academic Partnerships, raising questions about shared governance, corporatization, and quality education.

11.20.2017 | WFPL-FM

In the face of mounting opposition to a closed search for the University of Louisville’s next president, the school’s board doubled down on its decision Monday. Susan Jarosi, president of the U of L AAUP, opened discussion on the topic during a meeting Monday with a review of 18 letters she said constituents sent to the board. She said there have been missteps in the search so far, warning the decision to keep the search closed would be divisive.

11.17.2017 | Inside Higher Ed

The new chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale has big plans to eliminate all departments across campus, in the name of “synergy” and cost savings. Many professors question his motives and doubt it’s the right move. Joerg Tiede, associate secretary of academic freedom, tenure and governance at the AAUP, said Montemagno’s plan appears to be a “rather serious governance concern.” Under widely accepted principles of institutional governance, he said, any important decision about departmental structure should be made “in concert with the faculty.”

11.16.2017 | Bill Moyers

Professors have long been political targets. But a spate of recent threats against scholars — including two that have led to campus closures — is raising fresh concerns about safety and academic freedom. The AAUP observed in 1915 that the social sciences in particular faced a “danger of restrictions upon the expression of opinions which point toward extensive social innovations, or call in question the moral legitimacy or social expediency of economic conditions or commercial practices in which large vested interests are involved.” The AAUP's Joerg Tiede said, “I don’t see any need to modify that observation today.”

11.15.2017 | Washington Post

Howard Gillman, chancellor and professor of law and political science at the University of California at Irvine, and Erwin Chemerinsky, dean and professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law write, "With so much attention focused on whether controversial speakers such as Milo Yiannapoulos or Richard Spencer should be allowed to appear on campus, an even more basic issue has been obscured: universities punishing faculty who, outside of professional settings, express views that are considered controversial or even offensive." They reflect on earlier purges of faculty leading to the creation of the AAUP in 1915, and the “Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure” insisting on the right of faculty to express themselves “to students and to the general public, without fear or favor” as long as they maintained “standards of professional character” when they were doing their jobs.

11.14.2017 | WGBH-TV Boston

The House Republican tax bill is up for a vote this week and it's got the attention of several groups who are opposed to the legislation. One group that may be particularly impacted: graduate students. AAUP member and Council member Howard Bunsis said, "If you add $40,000, $50,000, roughly, to someone's tax base their tax bill is going to go up by a whole lot," and pointed out the tax overhaul would put the cost of graduate degrees out of reach for most Americans — and it could slow the production of future faculty members.  "There's no doubt in my mind that this will decrease the number of people going to graduate school," he said. "At Eastern Michigan, our graduate students are teaching assistants and research assistants. There will be fewer graduate students and there will be less research done."