AAUP Asks Oberlin to Value Faculty

The American Association of University Professors calls on Oberlin College to acknowledge the importance of our long- and short-term contingent faculty and teaching staff and to treat them equitably as valued members of our educational labor force.

We note that many contingent faculty and Administrative and Professional Staff whose primary duty is to teach have been pressured to sign contracts that contain explicit “at will” employment language, stating that “you or the College may end your employment at any time upon written notice to the other.” No employee with this language in their contract can be understood to benefit from the protections of academic freedom. Without those protections, no such employee can effectively teach at Oberlin College, uphold Oberlin’s values of courageous truth-telling, and lead students in free inquiry into difficult, fraught, or culturally sensitive topics. 

We call on Oberlin College, therefore, to remove all such language from the contracts of our contingent faculty and teaching staff. “At will” employment language is antithetical to their primary work and to their well-being as valued members of the Oberlin teaching community. 

The Executive Committee of the AAUP at Oberlin

Kirk Ormand

DeSales Harrison

Stephen Checkoway

Claire Solomon

Marta Laskowski

Matt Senior

Tom Lopez