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For more than ninety years the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has been engaged in developing standards for sound academic practice and in working for the acceptance of these standards by the community of higher education. The Association has long been viewed as the authoritative voice of the academic profession in this regard.
The AAUP's Policy Documents and Reports (widely known as the Redbook because of the color of its cover) presents in convenient format a wide range of policies, in some instances formulated in cooperation with other organizations. The current edition, the tenth (the first was published in 1968), includes basic statements on academic freedom, tenure, and due process; academic governance; professional ethics; research and teaching; distance education; intellectual property; discrimination; collective bargaining; accreditation; and students' rights and freedoms. Among the new documents not appearing in previous editions are statements on academic freedom and electronic communication; background checks preceding faculty appointments; contingent faculty appointments and the academic profession; corporate funding of academic research; and family responsibilities and academic work.
An appendix lists selected judicial decisions and scholarly writings that refer to AAUP standards. The documents in the Redbook offer guidance to the academic community—administrators and trustees as well as faculty—for the development of institutional policy and for the resolution of concrete issues as they arise.