American Association of University Professors records
Scope and Contents note
The American Association of University Professors’ collection consists of archival files of documents from the AAUP from 1915 to 2021. Documents include Executive Committee, Council, and Annual Meetings documents and audiotapes; Legal Office court cases and litigation documents; a record of staff council for AAUP; AAUP institutional files; conference documents; and newsletters.
- American Association of University Professors (Organization)
Case and institutional files from Donor's Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, Committee B on Professional Ethics, and Committee T on College and University Government are not open for public access for twenty-five (25) years from the date each file is officially closed by the Donor. Between twenty-five (25) and fifty (50) years from the date of closing, these files may be open to interested person upon specific request. A request with accompanying recommendation will be forwarded by Recipient to Donor, which will decide whether the request will be approved. All closed files will be open for public access after fifty (50) years from the date of closing. The years will be calculated by using the end of the calendar year in which a particular file was officially closed by Donor.
The donor has indicated that the date of creation is the date a file is closed. Use the date of creation when determining access limitations. In some cases, primarily Committee A records, the donor has provided a specific date range for when files are closed (ex. closed 2015-2021). When this information is provided the end date of that close period may be used to determine when a file is open adding the twenty-five and fifty-year restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
The AAUP began during an organizing meeting in 1915 by Arthur O. Lovejoy and John Dewey. The goal for forming an organization was to ensure academic freedom for faculty members. For the organizers of this meeting the notion of academic freedom had as a catalyzing incident the 1900 dismissal by Stanford University of economist Edward Ross because Mrs. Leland Stanford did not like Ross’ views on immigrant labor and railroad monopolies. Today the AAUP continues to protecting the academic freedom of professors. Because the AAUP is an organization whose members are the faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows it protects when the AAUP speaks it does so as the voice of the profession. The AAUP addresses not only academic freedom for faculty to teach and write without fear of censure the AAUP also defines the fundamental values and standards within higher education as well as ensuring economic security and the maintenance of the highest quality of education at America’s colleges and universities.
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Language of Materials
The mission of the American Association of University Professors (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. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country's colleges and universities."
This collection contains archival files of documents from the AAUP from 1915 to 2013. Documents include Executive Committee, Council, and Annual Meetings documents and audiotapes; Legal Office court cases and litigation documents; a record of staff council for AAUP; AAUP institutional files; conference documents; and newsletters.
Organized into 39 series: Conferences, Litigation and legal office files, Foundation records, Press releases, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure case files, Committee B on Professional Ethics, Committe C on College and University Teaching, Research, and Publication, Committee D on Accreditation, Committee E on Establishment and Conduct of Chapters, Committee F on Chapters, Conferences, Members and Dues, Committee G on Part-time and Non-tenure Track Appointments, Committee L on Historically Black Institutions and the Status of Minorities in the Profession, Committee M on Freedom of Teaching in Science, Committee N on Representation of Economic and Professional Interests and its predecessor the Ad Hoc Committee on Representation of Economic Interests (REI), Commmittee N on Student Health and Athletics, Committee O on Organization, Committee P on Pension and Insurance, Committee Q on Teacher Education, Committee R on Government Relations, Committee S on Students, Committee T on College and University Governance, Committee U on College and University Teaching, Committee V on Junior and Community Colleges, Committee W on the Status of Women in the Academic Profession, Committee Y on Taxation, Committee Z on the Economic Status of the Profession, Collective Bargaining Congress, Annual meeting resolution committee, Committee on State Legislation Affecting Academic Freedom (SLAAF), Nominating Committee, Audit Committee, special committees, task forces. and Committee G on part-time and non-tenure track appointments, Assembly of State Conference files, General files, Historical files, Public Policy Department records, Office of the General Secretary records, External Relations Department records, and Committee H on the history of the Association
Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of the American Association of University Professors, 1998 with many subsequent deposits over the years. Series 37 Suberies 1-6 are from the gift of Ernst Benjamin, 2017 (Accession 2017.008).
The materials donated as part of accession 2022.038 included materials for many different series. In most cases these materials were added as new subseries to existing series for the records creators (ex. Committee H, Committee C . . .).The records added to series with use restrictions are also subject to those use restrictions, however, in some situations the donor has designated specific folders as unrestricted. That information is noted at the folder level. If necessary the original spreadsheets are available in the electronic donor file for review. These donor provided preadsheets inculde extensive metadata including date ranges, notes, and box titles that when beneficial were added as general notes at the folder level. The original spreadsheets have been retained in the donor file. Some of the information in the spreadsheets was not added to the online description due to restrictions, but most of the information was included. If users have questions please consult with staff.
- Academic freedom Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Audiocassettes Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- College teachers Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- College teachers -- tenure Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Education, Higher -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Freedom of speech -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Labor unions -- United States -- History -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Folder-inventory to the American Association of University Professors records, 1915-2021
- Folder Inventory
- University Archives, Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository
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