February 5, 2021
American higher education is founded on the principles of academic freedom and tenure. Without this, faculty face constant risk of termination, with devastating effects on their ability to conduct research and inquiry freely. In the face of major financial crises, there may be temptation to reduce faculty and staff; however, enabling the arbitrary termination of tenured faculty would cause damage to future generations of students. Tenured faculty form the basis of a stable department, are integral to conducting quality research, and teach the next generation of leaders in their fields.
The AIA echoes our colleagues at SCS (statement link) and joins other learned societies (ACLS Statement link) in urging the Kansas Regents to reconsider their decision and encourage other institutions to maintain their support of the principles of academic freedom and tenure.