American Association of University Professors
AAUP Frequently asked questions
WHAT IS THE AAUP?
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is the only national professional voice
and advocate for faculty rights and interests, especially in the areas of academic freedom, tenure,
due process, and shared governance. By defending professional standards in these areas,
the AAUP benefits all college and university faculty, AAUP members and non-members alike.
The AAUP's ability to effectively represent and defend faculty interests depends on the support
and active participation of as many faculty as possible on local, state, and national levels.
Membership is open to both tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty, including teaching
assistants, and administrators may join as associate members.
WHAT DOES THE AAUP DO AT ISU?
- Many faculty do not realize the importance of AAUP until they find themselves in situations where they may have been treated unjustly, or are unsure as to whether certain administrative
practices in their department or college have violated professional standards. At this point,
they can approach the ISU-AAUP for information and advice, and even for an advocate to accompany
them to meetings with a chair or dean, or to a grievance hearing if they decide to pursue formal
- In cases where individual faculty grievances bear upon professional standards in the areas
of academic freedom, tenure, due process, and shared governance, the local AAUP will raise
these concerns independently with appropriate University administrators. Whether representing individual or general faculty interests, the ISU-AAUP informs the
national AAUP of developments bearing upon AAUP guidelines, requesting, as appropriate,
the support of the national organization.
- The ISU-AAUP holds open forums on issues of concern to the entire university community, often featuring qualified experts from other colleges and universities or the national AAUP as well as relevant ISU faculty and administrators. Recent forums have dealt with University policies towards non-tenure track faculty, legislative support for ISU (with several area state legislators attending), collective bargaining, and program prioritization.
- The ISU-AAUP keeps its members informed about relevant news and information transmitted from the national AAUP organization.
- The ISU-AAUP also brings to the attention of local members important developments at other colleges and universities in the areas of academic freedom, tenure, due process, and shared governance as well as faculty compensation for both tenure track and non-tenure track faculty.
- As an independent faculty organization, the ISU-AAUP can introduce initiatives that might not otherwise receive a hearing in official governance bodies. Recently implemented examples include the resolutions to raise the minimum pay for, and formalize the evaluation of, part-time faculty, as well as the initiative to extend the tenure track for faculty with childbirth and other special care-giving responsibilities.
- The ISU-AAUP publicizes faculty concerns and perspectives by publishing a newsletter, meeting with local media reporters working on University-related stories, submitting letters to the editor, and writing articles in periodicals such as the AAUP's national magazine, Academe.
- Through its open Executive Committee meetings and informal channels, the local AAUP keeps in touch with important developments at all levels of the University, including the Faculty Senate and other faculty and administrative bodies.
- ISU-AAUP members are among the most dedicated faculty in the areas of teaching, research, and service. In recent years ISU-AAUP members have been recipients of the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award, the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research and Creativity Award, and the Faculty Distinguished Service Award as well as numerous College and School level awards.
- Many ISU-AAUP members serve on the ISU Faculty Senate and other governance bodies (often in leadership positions) as well as on important University, School, and College committees. This provides the local AAUP with an additional informal presence in the shared governance of the University.