The American Association of University Professors at 100: A Century of Activity in Defense of Academic Freedom
One hundred years ago this week, in New York City, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was founded by a small group of prominent faculty members at major research institutions. Over the next century the AAUP emerged as the premier organization of university faculty across the disciplines defending academic freedom and shared governance. Its original 1915 and later 1940 statements on academic freedom and tenure have defined these terms for the entire profession. But higher education has evolved, and beginning in the 1970s the AAUP began also to represent faculty as a collective bargaining agent, sometimes independently and sometimes in partnership with other unions. Yet the organization remains a membership group open to and serving all faculty, unionized or not, tenure-track and non-tenure-track, at institutions public and private, large and small, four-year and two-year. This panel will look back at AAUP's record in defense of academic freedom, with special focus on its founding years, the experience of the turbulent era of the 1950s Red Scare and the 1960s student revolts, and the implications for academic freedom of the AAUP's turn to collective bargaining.