Jan. 5, 2015
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— The 2015 edition of the American Association of University Professors’ Policy Documents and Reports, edited by Illinois Wesleyan University’s Hans-Joerg Tiede, has been published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
Long viewed as the authoritative voice of the academic profession in regard to standards for sound academic practice, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) works for the acceptance of those standards by the higher education community. Founded in 1915, AAUP’s purpose is to advance academic freedom and shared governance, to define fundamental professional values and standards for the academic community, and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. AAUP’s Policy Documents is commonly referred to as the “Redbook” because of its red cover. The guide presents AAUP’s most central and most frequently cited policy statements and reports in a convenient format.
Tiede, the chair and professor of computer science at Illinois Wesleyan, is an authority on the history of academic freedom and tenure in U.S. higher education. He has taught numerous AAUP workshops and webinars on ways colleges and universities can incorporate AAUP policies on their individual campuses. He also serves on AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and as chair of the Committee on the History of the Association.
“Joerg’s extensive research on the history and founding of AAUP has given him distinctive insights about the contemporaneous issues that necessitated and influenced the policies contained in the Redbook,” said Jonathan Green, provost and dean of the faculty. “On the occasion of AAUP’s centennial, his work will provide us with an enhanced understanding of the importance of the critical efforts the association has undertaken over the past century on behalf of the professoriate.”
Tiede said his goal for the Redbook’s centennial edition was to reorganize the entire book into a larger number of thematically grouped sections to make it more user- friendly.
In recognition of the organization’s 100 years, the 2015 Redbook opens with AAUP’s founding document, the 1915 Declaration of Principles on Academic Freedom and Academic Tenure, and includes a brief historical introduction to each section. For the section on faculty evaluations, for example, Tiede found an AAUP statement on student evaluations from the 1930s.
“It was interesting to see how concerns on student evaluations had already been raised back then, and how there is a continuity in AAUP policy on matters that remain relevant to faculty,” Tiede said.
The Redbook also includes 18 new reports on topics ranging from campus sexual assault to salary-setting practices that unfairly disadvantage women faculty. Tiede also wrote a new introduction to the book as a way of “explaining salient AAUP policies and how they should be reflected in faculty handbooks” for colleges and universities across the country to use AAUP material in developing policy manuals specific to their campuses.
Tiede noted AAUP’s continued importance as an advocate for academic freedom and other beliefs. “In the past 100 years, events such as repeated Red Scares to the War on Terror have had major impacts on the academy,” Tiede said. “From local chapters through state organizations, AAUP continues to exist to help make sure universities fulfill their missions, which is to contribute to the free exchange of ideas.”