Fort Lewis College Chapter
American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
Durango, Colorado

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Start local chapter of AAUP
Motivated by concerns regarding the historic liberal arts mission of Fort Lewis College, a group of faculty has organized a local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The faculty group was motivated by concerns regarding important elements of academic life, including shared governance, quality of education, and academic freedom.  
The AAUP was begun “In 1900 when noted economist Edward Ross lost his job at Stanford University because Mrs. Leland Stanford didn't like his views on immigrant labor and railroad monopolies…The incident stuck in the mind of Arthur O. Lovejoy, philosopher at Johns Hopkins. When he and John Dewey organized a meeting in 1915 to form an organization to ensure academic freedom for faculty members, the AAUP was born.” ( )
In the last century, the AAUP has dedicated itself to helping faculty protect themselves and their students from those who would bend higher education toward particular ideological, political, religious, or business interests.
Among the primary concerns galvanizing this group of faculty is the quality of education for FLC students. This chapter believes strongly that the liberal arts mission of the college should be maintained. What does that mean? According to the FLC mission statement, it means to “prepare citizens for the common good in an increasingly complex world.” The ability to think critically, conduct disciplined inquiry, communicate effectively, and to put ideas into action remain central. FLC serves a diverse student population, with particular challenges, especially in the areas of preparedness, finances, and life circumstances.
The FLC AAUP chapters also holds that shared governance—that is, administration and faculty should share governance of the college according to expertise—is a critical issue. Professors are professionals with disciplinary and curricular expertise, who should be trusted in matters pertaining to educating their students.
Finally, academic freedom, the founding principle of the AAUP, is “the freedom of teachers and students to express their ideas in school without religious or political or institutional restrictions.” If students are to receive a quality education, their access to information, both inside the classroom and out, must remain unfettered.

As an affiliated chapter, the local AAUP group will pursue the goals of the national organization and continue “to abide by the best scholarly and ethical standards of their disciplines"