Academic Freedom

The History

Academic freedom has been the central preoccupation of the American Association of University Professors since its founding in 1915. Academic tenure, with its protections against arbitrary dismissal for those with unpopular views, is a vital foundation of academic freedom.

Here and Now

It is tempting to think that the McCarthy era is long past, and the tradition of academic freedom is well established. In fact, Georgia, like many states, is currently considering legislation aimed at forcing professors to give ideas like Intelligent Design and hyper-patriotic versions of American history an “appropriate” place in the college classroom. Teachers and practitioners of the dramatic and visual arts have also seen their creative freedom inappropriately constrained owing to anxieties about local popular opinion.

What the AAUP does

The AAUP’s 1940 “Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure” has been endorsed by the major academic organizations in every discipline of the academy. AAUP is generally recognized as the authoritative voice of the academic profession with respect to these issues. The AAUP’s Committee A investigates charges of violations of Academic Freedom, Tenure and Academic Due Process. Universities found guilty of “especially blameworthy” violations are places on AAUP’s Censure List.

AAUP has led the response to the so-called "Academic Bill of Rights" campaign mounted by David Horowitz and other activists. See the AAUP assessment of the campaign and why it is a danger to the academy. The battle for Academic Freedom is far from over.

Academic Freedom at Kennesaw State University

One of the central roles of KSU@AAUP is to ensure that academic freedom and the tenure process are protected.  Please see our Important Documents page for information about how KSU@AAUP has worked to improve and clarify the tenure and promotion process at Kennesaw State University.  If you think that your academic freedom has been violated, or that your tenure process is not proceeding according to the Faculty Handbook or your department’s bylaws, please contact KSU@AAUP.