“By their unilateral actions, the USG board of regents has proclaimed to the academic community that they do not view academic freedom as important for public higher education in the state.” AAUP President Irene Mulvey said in a statement.
“The removal of protections for academic freedom will have a devastating effect on the quality of education in the USG system, and on recruitment and retention of faculty and students,” Mulvey said. “We call upon the USG regents to rescind the changes to the post-tenure review policy so that academic freedom, so essential for higher education, is restored.”
The University System says on its website it is working with faculty and campus leaders to refine the standards before they’re implemented this fall.
“While we’re disappointed the American Association of University Professors chose to ignore USG’s long-standing commitment to academic freedom and due process, we remain dedicated to working with faculty at our public colleges and universities to make sure post-tenure review strengthens accountability and rewards the work faculty already do to empower student success in the 21st century,” system officials said in a statement.
The last time the association censured a system of colleges or universities was in 1975 against Virginia’s community college system.
U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, wrote a letter to the association before the vote supporting censure, saying the system’s changes may hurt efforts to recruit and retain talented professors.
“Academic freedom is essential and professors in the University System of Georgia may be watching theirs slip away,” she wrote.