The American Association of University Professors was founded in 1915 by John Dewey, A.O. Lovejoy, and other eminent scholars because they felt that the quality of higher education in America depended on the extent to which the faculty, as highly-trained professionals, maintained primary control over teaching, scholarship, and faculty governance.
In the last ninety years, the AAUP has continued to promote academic excellence by advocating for the highest professional standards. The traditions of tenure, academic freedom, due process, and shared governance, which have contributed to making our colleges and universities the best in the world, were all established by the AAUP, and have been kept alive and strengthened by its activities.
The definitive exposition of principles that supports this country's model tenure system is the AAUP's 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure. The 1940 Statement has been endorsed by over 200 scholarly and educational organizations. A superb collection of resources on academic freedom is available on the AAUP's website.
To assist colleges and universities in developing their own policies supporting academic freedom and tenure, the AAUP has developed recommended standards and policies. Among these, the most important are the Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings (1958), Procedural Standards in the Renewal or Nonrenewal of Faculty Appointments (1989 rev.) and Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure (2006 rev.).
Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities. Jointly formulated in 1966 by the Association of Governing Boards (AGB), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the AAUP, this document contains the definitive exposition of the concept of shared governance.
"What Is Shared Governance Anyway?" The essence of the 1966 Statement is explained.
"The End of Shared Governance: Looking Ahead or Looking Back." In this 2003 conference paper, Robert Birnbaum, a scholar of educational policy and leadership, affirms the utility of shared governance as defined in the Statement on Government. His conclusion:
The Role of the Faculty in the Accrediting of Colleges and Universities. A set of guidelines and recommendations for applying the principles of shared governance to the process of institutional accreditation.
The national AAUP website includes additional resources on governance.
For membership information about the AAUP, you can contact the national office by calling 1-800-424-2973 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To join or to renew your AAUP membership click here.