This essay situates John Dewey in the context of the founding of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) in 1915. We argue that the 1915 Declaration of Principles, together with World War I, provides contemporary academics important historical justification for rethinking academic freedom and faculty governance in light of neoliberalism and what we argue is an increased corporatization of higher education in the United States. By revisiting the founding of the AAUP and John Dewey’s role in the various debates surrounding the establishment of the organization—including his broader role as a public intellectual confronted by war, questions of duty and freedom, and the shifting boundaries of the professoriate—we argue that professors today should demonstrate academic freedom and reclaim faculty governance for the public good over private interests.

Project Muse URL