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Censure, Title IX, and other AAUP business

Dear AAUP member:

If you were among those who joined us in Washington last weekend for the Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education, you already know that AAUP members enjoyed dynamic plenary talks by Will Jones and Shaun Harper, joined with others from their state to lobby on Capitol Hill, and participated in sessions and roundtables on a wide variety of topics including race in higher education, fighting contingency, Title IX, and community colleges. It was great to see our members speaking up for higher education and engaging in the issues that are vital on campuses today!

The conference also includes meetings of AAUP leadership bodies and the annual meeting, a gathering that is empowered by our constitution with making censure and sanction decisions and considering resolutions and proposals made by members. Following are the major decisions made at those meetings.

Censure Actions

Delegates to the 102nd Annual Meeting voted to place the College of Saint Rose and the University of Missouri (Columbia) on the AAUP’s list of censured administrations. They also voted to remove from the censure list two institutions that had addressed outstanding concerns: Metropolitan Community College and Grove City College. Grove City College had been on the censure list since 1963, longer than any other institution, and I was particularly pleased that we were at long last able to resolve this case.

Censure by the AAUP informs the academic community that the administration of an institution has violated generally recognized principles and standards of academic freedom and tenure. The full list of censured administrations is here.

Sanction Actions

Delegates to the meeting voted to add Union County College and the University of Iowa to the list of institutions sanctioned for violating AAUP-supported standards of academic governance. Delegates also voted to remove Lindenwood University from the list.

Sanction by the AAUP informs the academic community of infringements of generally accepted governance standards after investigations reveal serious departures by the administration and/or governing board from those standards. The full list of sanctioned institutions is here.

Resolution and Proposal

The annual meeting passed a resolution marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities and a proposal calling on the AAUP Council to establish a committee to study how colleges and universities can best address climate change.

The full text of both are here.


The AAUP’s Assembly of State Conferences held its election for officer positions; results are here. (Our sister organization the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress also held elections this weekend, and you can see the results on the AAUP-CBC website.)

Title IX Report

Also during the conference, the AAUP Council officially adopted The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX. A final version of this report is available on the AAUP website. The report, which was slightly revised in light of comments received on a draft version published in March, identifies tensions between current interpretations of Title IX and the academic freedom essential for campus life to thrive. It finds that questions of free speech and academic freedom have been ignored in recent positions taken by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education, which is charged with implementing Title IX, and by university administrators who are expected to oversee compliance measures. The report concludes with recommendations—based on AAUP policy—for how best to address the problem of campus sexual assault and harassment while also protecting academic freedom, free speech, and due process.

If you were not able to join us this year, I hope to see you at another upcoming event; in July we co-host the always terrific Summer Institute in Portland, and in September we will offer a conference and workshops on shared governance in Washington, DC.

Julie Schmid
AAUP Executive Director

The mission of the AAUP is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education's contribution to the common good.