Academic Freedom

Report on Academy-Industry Relationships Published in Book Form

The AAUP and the AAUP Foundation are pleased to announce the publication of Recommended Principles to Guide Academy-Industry Relationships. The 368-page report is the product of four years of work. It has been updated, clarified, and extensively edited since a draft was published online for comment in 2012.

One Historian’s Perspective on Academic Freedom and the AAUP

It’s our brand: academic freedom. Whatever else the AAUP does, the defense of academic freedom is what distinguishes it from every other organization. As the American system of higher education has evolved, so, too, has the Association’s mission, but despite embracing collective bargaining and the provision of other services to the professoriate, the AAUP has not abandoned its central concern with protecting the professional autonomy and intellectual integrity of the nation’s faculties.

Anti-Boycott Bill Threatens Academic Freedom

The AAUP has released a statement opposing New York's proposed Assembly Bill A.8392. While the AAUP opposes all academic boycotts, the statement explains that the restrictions threatened by Assembly Bill A.8392 could impose even greater restrictions on academic freedom.

Demers v. Austin, 746 F.3d 402 (9th Cir. Wash. Jan. 29, 2014)

In this important decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reinforced the First Amendment protections for academic speech by faculty members.  Adopting an approach advanced in AAUP’s amicus brief, the court emphasized the seminal importance of academic speech. Accordingly, the court concluded that the Garcetti analysis did not apply to "speech related to scholarship or teaching,” and therefore the First Amendment could protect this speech even when undertaken "pursuant to the official duties" of a teacher and professor.

Controversy in the Classroom

The AAUP clarifies that the group "Students for Academic Freedom," which purports to rely on AAUP principles concerning controversial subject matter, in fact goes well beyond the AAUP's statements and is inimical to academic freedom and the very idea of liberal education. 

AAUP Opposes Anti-Boycott Legislation

The AAUP released a statement opposing legislation (currently pending in New York and Maryland) which would prevent public funds from being used to support organizations which have voted to boycott higher education institutions in other countries.

Proposed Maryland Legislation "Ill-Conceived"

The AAUP and the NCAC criticize academic boycotts, but warn public officials against interference with political expression, open discussion, and debate.

Letter Urges Legislature To Restore Funding

Penalizing state educational institutions financially simply because members of the legislature disapprove of specific elements of the educational program is educationally unsound and constitutionally suspect: it threatens academic freedom and the quality of education.

More than MOOCs

On August 13, 2013, William C. Powers, the president of the University of Texas at Austin, sent out a campuswide e-mail about educational technology. While campuswide e-mails seldom make news, this one did because few university presidents ever address this particular subject. “Rapidly advancing technology is changing virtually every aspect of our lives,” Powers wrote, “and education is no exception. The changing landscape presents challenges, but it also gives us great opportunities.

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

This revised report brings up to date and expands upon the Association’s 2004 report on the same topic, while affirming the earlier report’s basic principles. Academic freedom, free inquiry, and freedom of expression within the academic community may be limited to no greater extent in electronic format than they are in print, save for the most unusual situation where the very nature of the medium itself might warrant unusual restrictions,

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