Three faculty at UT Austin sued the state and the university over the law permitting licensed gun owners to carry guns on campus, including in classrooms; they asserted, among other things, that this law violated their academic freedom. A lower court dismissed their academic freedom claim (correctly, in my view--the campus carry law is barbaric and idiotic, but it does not violate academic freedom); on appeal, lawyers for the University argued that only the institution, not individual professors, have a right to academic freedom. The UT Austin President has been trying to walk away from his lawyer's court filings, but UT Austin faculty are correct to be worried about this legal position (which some lower courts elsewhere have also adopted): it is inconsistent with the influential AAUP statement, which UT Austin, like most universities, purports to affirm.
A philosopher elsewhere asked, after my recent posting about the Marquette case, how one determines whether one has a contractual right to academic freedom. (Faculty at public universities, in addition to any contractual right, can appeal to a First Amendment right to academic freedom, which many courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have recognized.) The first thing to do is to look at your University's Faculty Handbook, to see whether it incorporates by reference, or by explicit quotation, the AAUP statement. If the Faculty Handbook does not, then one should inquire with a Dean or Provost about whether the university views itself as contractually bound to protect the academic freedom of its faculty and, if so, where it has made a written commitment to that effect.
Even if the Faculty Handbook incorporates the AAUP principles of academic freedom, this does not necessarily mean a faculty member has contractual protection for his or her academic freedom: this may depend on state contract law. In Texas, for example, courts have held (in contexts unrelated to academic freedom) that a university's contract with a faculty member does not incorporate the provisions of Faculty Handbook. (In the Marquette case, by contrast, the Wisconsin court treated the Faculty Handbook's provisions as part of the binding contract with faculty.) One way to avoid the contingencies of state contract law is to make sure an offer letter explicitly states that the offer incorporates the provisions in the Faculty Handbook or incorporates the protections for academic freedom laid out in the 1940 AAUP statement.
Opening comments here, in case any of my law readers want to add to the preceding.