Academic freedom is the indispensable quality of institutions of higher education. As the AAUP’s core policy statement argues, “institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition” (1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure).
For more than ninety years the AAUP has been engaged in developing standards for protecting academic freedom and in working for the acceptance of these standards by the community of higher education. The Association has long been viewed as the authoritative voice of the academic profession in this regard. Statements, reports, and policies dealing with academic freedom, as well as with other key issues, are published in the AAUP’s Policy Documents and Reports, also known as the “Redbook.”
The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure has been endorsed by more than 200 national scholarly and educational associations.