Diversity & Affirmative Action

The AAUP has a longstanding commitment to increasing diversity in higher education. In 1976, the AAUP’s governing Council declared that “the Association is committed to use its procedures and to take measures, including censure, against colleges and universities practicing illegal or unconstitutional discrimination, or discrimination on a basis not demonstrably related to the job function involved, including, but not limited to, age, sex, disability, race, religion, national origin, marital status, or sexual orientation.”

As part of that mission, AAUP’s legal office has participated as amicus in many cases raising issues of diversity in higher education. In one of the best-known cases, the AAUP joined the American Council on Education and others in filing amicus briefs in support of educators’ decisions to adopt admissions policies that consider race as one of many factors.

The AAUP has also participated in a number of other cases involving diversity, arguing in favor of the ability of employees to sue employers for actions that disproportionately affect workers over forty, equal access to sports programs on the basis of sex, and institutions' rights to offer benefits to same-sex partners.

The AAUP Committee on Historically Black Institutions and Scholars of Color works on issues of special concern to historically black institutions and to minority faculty members in general. The committee is concerned with access to opportunities in higher education for traditionally underrepresented groups and has focused its recent efforts on affirmative action and diversity and outreach to faculty at minority serving institutions.

The Committee on Women in the Academic Profession addresses such issues as equity in pay, work/family balance, sexual harassment and discrimination, affirmative action and the status of female faculty in rank and tenure.

See more resources on diversity and affirmative action.