Report of Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, 2013–14

The 2013–14 Committee A report includes both judicial and legislative activities. The judicial work of Committee A involves the imposition and removal of censure. In 2013–14, one administration was censured, and Committee A was delegated the authority to remove another from the censure list once continuing positive developments were validated. Committee A also closed its investigation of another institution because of favorable administrative progress.
In legislative activity, Committee A approved and sent to Council a much revised and expanded version of its 2004 report Academic Freedom and Electronic Communications. This newly revised report is certainly timely, given the prevalence and public nature of personal social media accounts that are coming under increased scrutiny by institutions.

The committee also approved two new policy documents on intellectual property, a statement on the freedom of teaching in multisection courses, and a statement on Confucius Institutes. Committee A also discussed the apparent proliferation of instances in which institutions mandate use of”trigger warnings,” including in syllabi and other course materials. The committee agreed that such mandates violate principles of academic freedom and appointed a subcommittee to develop an official statement on the subject, which we hope to issue even before our next meeting in November.

Read the full report, published in the 2013 Bulletin of the AAUP.