CUCFA and CA-AAUP support UC-FTA demands for recognition of UC librarians' academic freedom
August 18, 2018
President Janet Napolitano
University of California
1111 Franklin St., 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607
Joint statement by CUCFA and CA-AAUP:
On July 26, 2018 UC negotiators rejected a proposal by the UC-AFT Unit 17 that academic freedom be recognized as a right of all UC librarians as academic employees. UC negotiators reportedly argued that academic freedom is granted only to faculty and students “to enable free expression in the classroom,” that it is “a professional standard established by faculty, for faculty,” and that their position was consistent with “AAUP’s stance on Academic Freedom.”
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has rejected UC negotiators’ claims and clarified that since 1972 it has recognized librarians as faculty (Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians - https://www.aaup.org/sites/default/files/files/2013 Bulletin/librarians.pdf).
Specifically, the joint statement affirms that:
"College and university librarians share the professional concerns of faculty members. Academic freedom is indispensable to librarians in their roles as teachers and researchers. Critically, they are trustees of knowledge with the responsibility of ensuring the intellectual freedom of the academic community through the availability of information and ideas, no matter how controversial, so that teachers may freely teach and students may freely learn. Moreover, as members of the academic community, librarians should have latitude in the exercise of their professional judgment within the library, a share in shaping policy within the institution, and adequate opportunities for professional development and appropriate reward.
The Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA) and the California Conference of AAUP chapters (CA-AAUP) wholeheartedly agree with AAUP’s 1972 statement, recognize librarians as fellow faculty, and jointly support UC-AFT Unit 17’s request that all librarians be “entitled to academic freedom, as their primary responsibility to their institution and profession is to seek, state, and act according to the truth as they see it.”
CUCFA and CA-AAUP therefore urge UC President Napolitano to instruct UC negotiators to grant academic freedom to university librarians as they rightly deserve and have requested.
President, Council of UC Faculty Associations
cc: UC Regents