Since its founding in 1915, the Association has seen tenure as necessary to protect academic freedom. Tenure, briefly stated, is an arrangement whereby faculty members, after successful completion of a period of probationary service, can be dismissed only for adequate cause or other possible circumstances and only after a hearing before a faculty committee. The Association, also from its inception, has assumed responsibility for developing standards and practices, sometimes in cooperation with other organizations, to give concrete meaning to tenure. Key Association policy statements are the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the 1958 Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings, and the Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure.
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