AAUP Centennial

“Academic freedom” was still a new idea when John Dewey, Arthur O. Lovejoy, and other prominent scholars founded the American Association of University Professors in 1915. Establishing academic freedom as a cornerstone of higher education has been just one of the AAUP's many achievements in the century since its founding. The AAUP has developed the standards and procedures that make American higher education exceptional, shaping a system that is renowned for excellence in teaching and research.

The AAUP Foundation is planning a range of activities to celebrate the AAUP’s centennial. Through the Centennial Interview Project, a student essay and art contest, and other projects, the Foundation’s Centennial Committee is inviting the higher education community and members of the public at large to reflect on how the professional values established by the AAUP have contributed to the common good.

While we celebrate one hundred years of academic freedom, we also recognize the challenges that lie ahead. Decreasing state support for public higher education, the encroachment of corporate culture into college and university administration, and the rapid growth in contingent faculty appointments are eroding the quality of higher education across the United States. The AAUP is uniquely positioned to respond to these threats, but it cannot do so effectively without the involvement of faculty members and the broader public. As the Foundation looks toward the next hundred years, it seeks to support the AAUP's work to defend the core principles of academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance that the Association's founders first articulated a century ago.

The Centennial Committee invites you to become involved by hosting an event, participating in centennial projects, or making a donation to the AAUP Foundation, which depends on charitable contributions for its operations.

Additional information about the centennial—including news about centennial publications and a list of selected readings—is available on the AAUP’s website.