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The American Association of University Professors records

 Collection
Identifier: RG-15-090
The American Association of University Professors was founded in 1913. The Records of the Johns Hopkins Chapter of the American Association of University Professors range in date from 1916 to 1956. They are by no means complete. There are no records at all dating between 1940 and 1953. The record group consists of three files, containing minutes of meetings, correspondence, membership lists, treasurer's reports, circular letters, invitations, and notices of election results, by laws, membership letters, position papers and invitations.

Dates

  • 1916-1940, 1953-1956

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.38 Cubic Feet (1 letter size document box)

Biographical / Historical

The American Association of University Professors was founded in 1913. Its aim was to be a national clearinghouse for the problems of college and university teaching and "to facilitate a more effective cooperation among teachers and investigators in universities and colleges ... for the promotion of the interests of higher education and research, and in general to increase the usefulness and advance the standards and ideals of the profession." (Office of the President, Series 1, file number 449, folder dated 1933 1936, "AAUP: General Information, n.d."). The AAUP's membership was comprised of college and university professors, and it issued a monthly publication entitled the Bulletin.

The Johns Hopkins Chapter of the AAUP was formed on May 8, 1916. Its objective was "to consider questions which from time to time come before the general association." It was not its intention to take issue on local university questions. The Hopkins Chapter's first chairman was Professor George E. Barnett, its first secretary Professor J. M. Vincent. Among the early members who were quite active in the association were Professors A. O. Lovejoy, L. S. Hulburt, J. C. French, H. S. Jennings, and J. W. Bright.

The issues with which the Johns Hopkins Chapter of the AAUP has been concerned include the following: fellowships, scholarships, and other forms of aid for students; creation of a national department of education; faculty tenure; requirements for admission to programs of study and completion of them; faculty housing; ethical questions relating to the profession of college and university teaching; and ways of increasing the intellectual interests of students.

Two topics which have been of great concern to the Johns Hopkins Chapter and which deserve special mention are academic freedom and the economic welfare of the teaching profession.

In 1953 and 1954 the Chapter devoted much of its attention to the problem of academic freedom. A committee was formed "to attempt a reformulation of the principles of academic freedom." The committee members could not agree among themselves on a number of points, but some members of the committee drafted a position paper entitled "Some Misconceptions Concerning Academic Freedom." The writers of this paper argued that academic freedom: (1) should protect scholars who wish to disseminate offensive ideas; (2) includes the freedom to teach what is called "subversion"; (3) should not be linked with an obligation of loyalty to the government; (4) is not simply a part of the general freedom of speech but rather "requires special safeguards, far more complicated than the freedom of speech that is promised by the Bill of Rights"; (5) implies that a university teacher must not be dismissed for charges which refer to his political, philosophic, or religious opinions; and (6) has to do with more than just rules for tenure. Academic freedom must protect the scholar from all kinds of intimidation, not just that which is exercised through threat of dismissal. On May 5, 1954, the Johns Hopkins Chapter of the AAUP adopted a resolution which began:

"The Johns Hopkins Chapter of the AAUP is greatly disturbed by the lack of action shown by the Association in failure to publish and act upon the reports in the numerous cases of violation of academic freedom and tenure pending."



In 1956 a "Committee on the Welfare of the Faculty" was formed. The formation of the committee grew out of (among other things) concern about the generally low level of faculty salaries. The committee released a report which expressed the Chapter's concern and recommended the following actions: (1) a formal sabbatical policy; (2) payment of travel costs to conventions; and (3) consideration of a catastrophe insurance plan. The Johns Hopkins Chapter adopted a resolution on May 7, 1956, which recommended the three above actions to the President of the University.

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Johns Hopkins Chapter of the American Association of University Professors range in date from 1916 to 1956. They are by no means complete. There are no records at all dating between 1940 and 1953. The record group consists of three files, each arranged chronologically. In the first are minutes of meetings (and closely related items) dating from 1916 to 1940. The second file contains materials ranging in date from 1928 to 1940. These include correspondence, membership lists, treasurer's reports, circular letters, invitations, and notices of election results. The third file, the items of which date 1953 to 1956, contains minutes, agendas, correspondence, reports, by laws, membership letters, circular letters, position papers and invitations.

Arrangement

The record group consists of three files, each arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

The records dating from 1916 to 1940 were transferred to the Archives by the Special Collections Department of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library from its "University History Collection."

Accruals

Accession Number: 81.44

Processing Information

Processed by Wendell O'Brien.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA