Since its founding by progressive academics 101 years ago, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has had little affection for the governing authorities of colleges and universities. Of course, when college presidents, trustees, and boards of regents bow in submission to its edicts, the AAUP will spare a few words of non-condemnation for the … Continue reading AAUP Meeting Unanimously Backs Melissa Click—But Why?
Along with many others, I received an email last week from Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors. Because the AAUP is best known for defending academic freedom, valued by both liberals and conservatives, and because it represents the academic profession as a whole, it has cultivated a reputation for nonpartisanship. Fichtenbaum … Continue reading The AAUP Takes a Sharp Left Turn
“This isn’t another message about higher education in crisis.This is a message about what higher education should be.” So reads the urgent email that faculty across the country received recently from the American Association of University Professors. A hundred years after the organization’s founding, the AAUP’s leaders are worried that people don’t understand what higher … Continue reading The AAUP’s Ludicrous Declaration
A few weeks ago, the Regents of the University of Colorado voted to commission a “political climate” survey of the Boulder campus to determine whether ideological discrimination exists there. Not long after, the AAUP issued a letter in response, warning against the threat to academic freedom that the survey poses. The letter is a prime example … Continue reading The Not-Very-Honest AAUP Letter on Colorado
The AAUP has now completed the final version of what NAS’ Peter Wood aptly termed a “firewall,” designed to protect academics from outside criticism, especially from conservatives and supporters of Israel. The organization’s new standards now face their first test–but from a most unexpected source. In the left-leaning New Republic, Alex Klein has a blog … Continue reading Will the AAUP Sanction the New Republic?
The American Association of University Professors has now issued its final report on “Ensuring Academic Freedom in Politically Controversial Academic Personnel groups.”) The basic principle is as unobjectionable as it is admirable: professors should not be hired, fired, or disciplined on the basis of their political beliefs. Yet the AAUP’s report is basically unchanged from … Continue reading Campus Freedom, AAUP-Style
A few years ago, in the midst of the controversy over inappropriate faculty behavior in Columbia’s Middle East Studies department, more than 100 professors, led by former provost Jonathan Cole, signed a document demanding that the Columbia administration defend the faculty from outside criticism—without even determining the merits of that criticism. This approach essentially redefined … Continue reading A Feeble Statement from the AAUP
The AAUP recently produced a new journal devoted to exploring the state of academic freedom on today’s college campuses. As customary with anything from the AAUP in recent years, the publication was as notable for what it didn’t contain as what it did, in that it offered no mention of the internal threat to academic … Continue reading The AAUP Strikes Out . . . Again
Cary Nelson, current president of the American Association of University Professors, has a new book dealing with academic freedom and its relationship to broader structural problems in higher education. No University Is an Island: Saving Academic Freedom is interesting and important, but also frustrating. It provides remedies to the problems confronting academic freedom at the … Continue reading What Is The AAUP Up To?
AAUP president Cary Nelson recently e-mailed his membership about an important new venture for the academic union. Proclaiming “this is not your grandparents’ AAUP,” Nelson celebrated the work of the “Department of Organizing and Services,” which had discovered “a faculty band from Ohio performing original songs about the ironies of current academic life.” Perhaps Nelson … Continue reading Not Your Grandparents’ AAUP
Cary Nelson’s statement: “We do not negotiate with terrorists. We just accede to their anticipated demands.” That is effectively the new policy position at Yale University Press, which has eliminated all visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad from Jytte Klausen’s new book The Cartoons That Shook the World. Yale made the unusual decision not only … Continue reading Even The AAUP Opposes The Yale Decision
At its annual meeting, the American Association of University Professors declined to vote to criticize Israel, yet voted to condemn Iran. In December, the MLA rejected a statement defending critics of Israel and replaced it with a much-milder statement defending contentious Middle East research. They also resisted condemning Ward Churchill’s firing, and instead only objected … Continue reading Moderating The AAUP And MLA?
Peter Wood and Ashley Thorne write on the upcoming AAUP Presidential Election at the NAS site. Cary Nelson, the current President, is facing Tom Guild, a professor emeritus of legal studies at Oklahoma State University. Guild is railing against the organization’s fiscal troubles under Nelson’s leadership, and “insider” posture. Thorne interviewed both candidates; here’s a … Continue reading Change At The AAUP?
If anyone hasn’t realized that the new AAUP Statement on academic freedom is a sham, then there are two excellent means to inform yourself today. First, Erin O’Connor’s new piece here at the site, on the AAUP’s ducking of almost every serious complaint to which it pretends to respond. A small but telling indicator of … Continue reading The AAUP Straw-Man Statement
Last summer, AAUP president Cary Nelson announced that the AAUP would be issuing a back to school statement on academic freedom in the classroom. Now that statement has gone public – and it makes for very interesting and informative reading. Written by a subcommittee of the AAUP’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, “Freedom in … Continue reading AAUP To Critics: What, Us Biased?
Joan Scott, professor emerita in the School of Social Science at Princeton, has been arguing that the great threat on academic freedom comes not from the smothering blanket of political correctness or the violence-laced actions of left-wing protesters, but from the anti-intellectual right. Scott’s interview in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “How the Right Weaponized … Continue reading Did the Right ‘Weaponize’ Free Speech?
In an attempt to document “the impact of web-driven political outrage” on the lives of professors, The Chronicle of Higher Education launched a series called “Professors in the Political Cross Hairs.” Updated periodically whenever a new story unfolds of web-based attacks on professors for their classroom comments, opinion essays, tweets, or Facebook posts, The Chronicle … Continue reading The Campus Left’s Mass Attack on Amy Wax and Middle Class Values
Once many years ago I spoke to an Army recruiter who tried to convince me that I would learn many valuable skills in the military, including how to jump from helicopters. I was puzzled. How exactly was learning to jump from a helicopter a valuable skill? He explained that I could then qualify for a … Continue reading Protecting Academic Freedom Through All the Campus Smoke
I have been reading essays by David Horowitz for nearly fifty years, starting when he became an editor of the radical new-left magazine, Ramparts, in 1968, and I was a high school student prepping for debates about the Vietnam war. David famously moved beyond his red diaper origins, his Marxist enthusiasms, and his admiration of … Continue reading David Horowitz: Battlefield Notes from a War Gone Unnoticed
More than 100 U.S. colleges and universities have allowed Confucian Institutes on their campuses. These institutes, sponsored and paid for by the Chinese government, yield a good deal of sway to China over the curriculum and hiring of teachers, sometimes outsourcing control. As a result, several universities, including the University of Chicago, have closed their … Continue reading China’s Propaganda Arm on U.S. Campuses
The right to breathe is not generally understood as the right to choke others. The right to move freely is not widely understood as the right to slip into your neighbor’s house in the middle of the night unannounced. The right to listen to Neil Diamond’s greatest hits is not universally interpreted as the right … Continue reading Some New and Narrow Versions of Academic Freedom
The data are beginning to bear out the popular theory that free speech on campus is in steady decline. A study commissioned by the William F. Buckley Center at Yale found that 51% of college students favor speech codes to regulate speech for both faculty and students. Relatedly, a Pew poll found that a full … Continue reading The Campus Left Discovers Free Speech
“Hate speech is excluded from protection,” CNN anchor Chris Cuomo tweeted last year, echoing a dangerously common misconception. “Hate speech isn’t free speech,” people say, assuming they have a right not to hear whatever they consider hateful language and ideas. Government officials sometimes share this view: The Mayor of West Hollywood confirmed to Eugene Volokh … Continue reading Progressive Policing of Speech Moves Off Campus
In a Commentary essay earlier this spring, I argued that universities’ response to the 2015-2016 campus protests can be seen, in part, through the lens of faculty and administrators sharing the protesters’ diversity-obsessed goals, if not agreeing with them on tactics. A recent protest from Dartmouth confirmed the point. Sometimes, campus speech issues are complicated. … Continue reading 4 Well-Known Universities With No Integrity
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has just dipped its oar in the dank water of Title IX. The AAUP’s draft of its new document, The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX, leaves much to be desired. But welcome to the fight, AAUP. We’ve been wondering when you would show up. From 1972 … Continue reading Title IX Tramples Free Speech and Fairness, So Now What?