Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Incentives to Forgo Tenure

Tenure is "indispensable to the success of an institution in fulfilling its obligations to its students and to society." So declares the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. The academic community, however, has never lacked for proposals that would undermine tenure and thus its role in serving students and society. Among such current proposals, one in particular requires comment because it has surfaced in recent cases considered by Committee A.1  It proposes that prospective faculty members accept renewable term appointments and forgo consideration for tenure and/or that current faculty members renounce tenure in return for some advantage, such as a higher salary, accelerated leave, or other pecuniary consideration. Proponents of these agreements argue that they embody a free exchange of mutual benefit to the parties. If academic tenure withers in consequence, they claim, that only demonstrates that, in a free market, faculty will have demonstrated their unwillingness to support tenure.

Academic Freedom and Tenure: Northeastern Illinois University

The administration of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago violated principles of academic freedom when it denied tenure to a candidate who had opposed its wishes in a dispute between linguistics faculty and teachers of English as a second language (TESL), concludes an AAUP investigating committee in this new report.

Statement on the Freedom to Teach

The AAUP has released a brief statement on the freedom to teach. The statement discusses issues that arise when multiple faculty members work together to teach different sections of the same course.

Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications

A newly revised report issued for comment in December, Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications, brings up to date and expands the Association’s 2004 report on the same topic.

Freedom to Teach Statement

At its November meeting, the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure approved The Freedom to Teach, a short statement written in response to numerous queries regarding Association policy on the relationship between the academic freedom of individual faculty members in the classroom and collective faculty responsibility for the curriculum, particularly with regard to multisection courses.

Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance Violations at NEIU

An AAUP investigating committee’s report published in December deals with a case of tenure denial at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. The candidate, an assistant professor of linguistics, had been recommended for tenure successively during the 2011–12 academic year by his tenured linguistics colleagues, his department chair, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and, unanimously, the faculty’s elected University Personnel Committee.

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. 

When an Advisory Board Turns on Its School

Scratching for academic status and representing a profession in crisis, journalism faculty often lack the presumption of expertise enjoyed in other disciplines. New-media entrepreneurs goad us to stay “agile” and “nimble.” Be prepared, they tell us, to “blow up the curriculum” and embrace “creative destruction” in the rapid adoption of new technology. Web journalist Robert Hernandez appeals directly to students, prodding disciples to “hijack your school’s assets.”

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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