Advancing and protecting academic freedom is the AAUP’s core mission. Academic freedom is the indispensable requisite for unfettered teaching and research in institutions of higher education. As the academic community’s core policy document states, “institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition” (1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which has been endorsed by more than 250 national scholarly and educational associations).
Since its founding, the AAUP has been ensuring meaningful faculty participation in institutional governance. Shared governance, according to the Association’s Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, refers to the responsibility shared among the different components of the institution—governing boards, administrations, and faculties—for its governance, and the specifies areas of primary responsibility for each component.
Solidarity Among Ranks
The AAUP works to reduce contingency in multiple ways. Many AAUP chapters, both unionized and nonunionized, include faculty in contingent positions and work on local issues relating to contingency. The One Faculty campaign is designed to help chapters make concrete gains for faculty with contingent appointments. It grew out of the AAUP’s long history as an organization seeking to improve working conditions, shared governance, economic security, and academic freedom for all who teach and do research in our universities and colleges. It explains why a united faculty is a strong faculty and includes specific guidelines for bargaining key contract issues.