Friday, April 10, 2009

AAUP Statement on Faculty Governance in International Education

The American Association of University Professors, together with its counterpart, the Canadian Association of University Professors, has issued a statement on faculty governance in study abroad and international education. The report says, in part,

Moreover, as the U.S. and Canadian presence in higher education grows in countries marked by authoritarian rule, basic principles of academic freedom, collegial governance, and nondiscrimination are less likely to be observed. In a host environment where free speech is constrained, if not proscribed, faculty will censor themselves, and the cause of authentic liberal education, to the extent it can exist in such situations, will suffer.

Consequently, it is essential that all international initiatives undertaken by North American colleges and universities respect the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, with its emphasis on academic freedom, institutional autonomy, collegial governance, nondiscrimination, and employment security.

These and the other principles in the report are a useful counterweight, at least in theory, to the rapid globalization of American campuses, an operation in which very frequently there is virtually no faculty participation or oversight--thus putting at risk the core academic values of the originating institution and its international partners and employees.

American Association of University Professors, "On Conditions of Employment at Overseas Campuses," 2009.

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