Information about the AAUP

The AAUP is the only national organization exclusively representing the interests of all college and university faculty members. Founded in 1915, the AAUP

  • establishes and maintains standards for academic due process and faculty participation in academic decision making
  • participates in precedent setting court cases involving academic freedom and tenure issues
  • represents faculty interests in state and federal legislatures
  • provides comprehensive data on the economic status of the profession
  • offers professional liability insurance and other membership benefits and services

Active AAUP membership is open to teaching faculty, research scholars, professional librarians, or counselors with faculty status. Membership categories also include Active entrant, a reduced dues membership offered to non tenured faculty for up to seven years; Active part-time, Graduate Student, and Public member.
The American Association of University Professors has members at more than 2000 institutions with local chapters at 960 campuses and 33 state conferences which unite chapter organizations on a state wide basis.

Academic Freedom and Tenure

The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom, jointly authored by AAUP and the Association of American Colleges, is the definitive interpretation of academic freedom and is the model for all subsequent policies and standards.
Thousands of faculty members call the AAUP each year for advice and help about academic freedom and tenure issues. AAUP responds to academic freedom violations by assisting faculty members to obtain due process through mediation and consultation. Grave violations may result in on site investigations and censure of the administration. Investigative reports are published in the AAUP journal ACADEME thereby informing the academic community of departures from sound practices.
AAUP’s amicus briefs before the Supreme Court and appelate courts on issues concerning academic freedom safeguard academic practices and advance the court’s understanding of academic principles. AAUP’s Academic Freedom Fund and its Legal Defense Fund provide financial support in selected cases that raise significant academic freedom issues.

Government Relations

AAUP is an authoritative voice in Washington and state capitals on higher education issues at a time when government decisions greatly influence what happens on campus. AAUP monitors legislation and provides expert testimony from a faculty perspective. When mandatory retirement was abolished in 1986, AAUP was designated by Congress as a member of the Research committee to determine the effect of uncapping on higher education.

Faculty Salary Data and Analysis

AAUP’s ANNUAL REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF THE PROFESSION is a comprehensive analysis of faculty salaries and fringe benefits. Over 2100 individual institutions are listed by category, with compensation for faculty rank and gender. AAUP members receive the report as a special issue of our journal ACADEME. The reports are also available online.
AAUP’s Higher Education Salary Evaluation Kit provides guidance in assessing equity in faculty compensation. It also includes comparison group salary reports specific to different types of institutions.

Collective Bargaining

AAUP supports faculty collective bargaining at the option of local chapters as an additional means for advancing professional standards. AAUP chapters negotiate independently, subject to the same standards as non bargaining campuses. Chapter contracts are designed to insure academic freedom and tenure, advance economic and professional interests, and promote collegial governance.

Special Projects

The AAUP initiates special projects concerning faculty and the academic profession. Recent projects include

  • guidelines for pension and insurance plans and participation in the revision of TIAA-CREF policies
  • retaining tenure without mandatory retirement
  • the role of faculty in the assessment movement and curricular changes
  • examination of academic freedom in church related institutions

Membership Services and Benefits

Members receive a subscription to ACADEME, the AAUP’s magazine for higher education and journal of record. Published six times a year, ACADEME offers news, analysis, and discussion of matters of professional concern.
New members are eligible for a special introductory subscription to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Membership in the AAUP allows participation in the following benefit programs

  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • AAUP Travel Program
  • Accident Insurance
  • Disability Income Protection
  • Excess Major Medical Insurance
  • Group Term Life Insurance
  • Hospital Indemnity Insurance
  • Low Cost Automobile Rental
  • Gold and Silver Master Card Charge

Academic Policy and Regulations

The AAUP’s policy statements and recommended institutional regulations are acknowledged as the prevailing standards within the academic community. AAUP guidelines are designed to insure faculty members due process and a substantive role in academic governance. Subjects include

  • Academic freedom, tenure, and due process
  • Preventing discrimination
  • College and University Government
  • Professional Ethics
  • Collective bargaining
  • Research and teaching
  • Leaves of absence and retirement and insurance plans