A group of faculty at Dartmouth College has organized under the American Association of University Professors.
The group is taking aim at three key issues: reforming the tenure process, increasing job security and workplace rights for adjunct professors, and securing academic freedom.
The effort began last fall after Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon moved to distance the college from public statements made by Professor Mark Bray, said Annelise Orleck, a history professor at the college and one of the leaders of the AAUP chapter. Bray, an expert on Antifa, was quoted widely after the violence in Charlottesville.
That and several other incidents led some faculty members to feel their academic freedom was under threat, Orleck said. She and her colleagues are also concerned that the school's tenure process has become less transparent and consistent.
The group is not a union -- there are no plans to engage in collective bargaining (AAUP has both unionized and non-unionized chapters). Members do, however, pay dues to join. So far, about 50 Dartmouth professors have made that move. That’s a relatively small fraction of the school’s roughly 600 total faculty members. But Orleck said far more – roughly 200 – are part of a more loose affiliation interested in the group’s goals.
In a statement, college spokesperson Diana Lawrence said the administration supports the faculty in forming the organization.