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Koch receives AAUP chapter’s Academic Freedom Award

BOONE—Dr. Andy Koch, professor in the Department of Government and Justice Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University, has received the 2014 Award for Academic Freedom and Faculty Governance from the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

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The chapter singled out Koch’s service as chair of the Faculty Senate, to which he was recently elected to a third term. The award recognizes a member of the university community whose outstanding service has enriched the university by defending, supporting and working to advance academic freedom and faculty governance across the campus.

The chapter found that Koch has counted academic freedom and faculty governance among his highest priorities during his tenure as Faculty Senate chair. One nomination letter noted that Koch “played a major role in keeping academic concerns and the importance of faculty involvement in campus decisions at the forefront during the spring semester search for our new chancellor and through that process forged a number of important relationships with members of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees that will benefit the university for many years.” It further noted that Koch has “used his position as the leader of the Appalachian delegation to the University of North Carolina Faculty Assembly to convey Appalachian faculty concerns to President Tom Ross and members of the UNC Board of Governors.”

The chapter also determined that, in the words of one nominator, Koch’s “direct but diplomatic style in dealing with sensitive issues at an unsettled time at this university has served us well for the last several years” and that his “influence (is certain to be) felt well into future.”

Koch joined the Appalachian faculty in 1995. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is the author of numerous articles and books in the field of political philosophy. Koch has also served as the advisor of the university chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Founded in 1915, the AAUP is a national organization of American college and university professors which has chapters on over 450 campuses. According to its website, the AAUP’s mission is “to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good.” Prominent members have included John Dewey and Albert Einstein.