Frequently Asked Questions about the Boston University chapter of

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP)

  • What is the AAUP? The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was founded in 1915, with a mission “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.” This mission is actively supported by the national AAUP organization, along with state conferences and over 300 individual advocacy chapters and collective bargaining chapters at campuses across the country.

  • When and why was the BU AAUP chapter formed? The national AAUP formally recognized our current Boston University AAUP chapter in April 2021. BU’s previous AAUP chapter was last active in the 1990s. The chapter’s reactivation arose out of faculty conversations in fall 2020 about the need for a new, independent voice for all instructional and research employees at BU, including tenure-line, contract and adjunct faculty, and graduate students and workers.

  • How can I get involved? The first step is to contact aaupbu@gmail.com to join the email list, so as to receive updates and invitations to chapter and committee meetings. We will hold at least two general chapter meetings per semester, and committees will determine their own schedules and tasks. Much of our work happens at the committee level. See our website https://www.aaupbu.org/ for information about our Membership, Shared Governance, and Communication committees. New committees may be added as our membership grows.

  • Who can join the BU AAUP chapter and attend its meetings? All ranks of faculty, graduate student employees, and research and instructional employees of the university (including research and instructional librarians) are welcome to join the BU chapter and attend meetings. Higher education administrators are not eligible for active membership in the AAUP, but may become affiliated as dues-paying associate members. Associate members are not eligible to vote in the BU AAUP chapter, but may attend its meetings.

  • Are there membership dues? The BU chapter does not have dues. However, all BU chapter members are expected to join the national AAUP. Only active members of the national AAUP are eligible to vote on chapter business. The AAUP offers a sliding scale of member dues, and a range of benefits, including access to AAUP reports and webinars, and a subscription to the quarterly magazine Academe.

  • Is the BU AAUP chapter a union? No, we are an advocacy chapter. Some AAUP chapters are unions and engage in collective bargaining, but the BU chapter, as described in our bylaws, is not.

  • What can we achieve as an advocacy chapter? Our chapter is a vehicle for faculty, graduate student workers, and other instructional and research employees to raise our collective voices to organize for and promote shared governance, academic freedom, and a diverse, equitable and inclusive Boston University. AAUP summer institutes, training and workshops, and campaigns such as the New Deal for Higher Education enable opportunities to transform our campus climate. We also see models for future action in the work of other AAUP advocacy chapters, including George Mason University, Dartmouth College, and Hampshire College with its #savehampshire campaign.

BU AAUP Membership Committee 5/2021