Yes. Yes you must. We are officially recognized by the national organization. All of our local members must also be members of the national AAUP. There are multiple benefits associated with belonging to AAUP including insurance, legal protections, and discounts on books and journals pertaining to AAUP principles. If economics are a factor, membership to the national organization is on a sliding scale dependent on your university salary.
Our decision to found a chapter of the American Association of University Professionals (AAUP) several months ago represents an important milestone for this university. While AAUP has existed for over a century and hundreds of chapters across the country, TU had never taken this step even though many of our faculty are long-time members (membership in AAUP is not contingent on the existence of a local chapter). Viewed from this angle, forming our chapter announces our collective commitment to to the values of shared governance, academic freedom, and educational integrity here at the University of Tulsa. It is a tangible expression of a faculty determined to participate actively in shaping the future of this institution by exercising our rights as responsible stewards for this university.
As you probably know, TU faculty mobilized following the introduction and implementation of True Commitment. That action, taken with few opportunities for faculty involvement undermined trust and damaged our campus culture. The fact that implementation of some aspects of the plan continued in spite of votes in two colleges to pause the process pending a full review of data and conclusions strained campus relationships further still. It is the position of TU-AAUP that the process that led to the development and implementation of True Commitment constituted a serious violation of the principles of shared governance. Since protecting and honoring shared governance are principal concerns of AAUP, it makes sense for us to join our efforts to theirs.
It is important to see the formation of an AAUP chapter within the context of faculty responses to True Commitment. A grass roots group known as Concerned Faculty of TU (CFTU) has produced position papers, generated publicity, conducted deep research into TU’s situation as it relates to conditions across higher education. Our Faculty Senate has brought concerns to the administration and trustees, passing two resolutions identifying violations of shared governance. Several task forces made up of faculty selected by their peers have reviewed True Commitment’s recommendations and have, or are will, released reports. And in November TU faculty overwhelmingly registered their lack of confidence in the President and Provost in an unprecedented demonstration of solidarity. TU-AAUP sponsored that poll even as we took no official position on the ballot measures. But we also seek common ground with colleagues across the university. Following the resignation of President Clancy, TU-AAUP issued a statement calling for open dialogue and offering our support for efforts that advance shared governance.
Joining AAUP carries many benefits. While it is not a union in the sense that we will not create a collective bargaining unit, it does offer many benefits of collective action. Since its founding a century ago, AAUP has released guidelines and reports on a whole range of issues of importance to students, faculty, staff, and educational institutions more broadly. It has published a compendium of standards and best practices. It conducts independent investigations of institutions and sponsors presentations and symposia. It connects us with colleagues across the United States. Creating an AAUP chapter allows us to access these many resources.
According to their website: The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) 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.
While our AAUP chapter emerges out of the chaos created by True Commitment, its value extends beyond this moment. We recognize that TU is structured vertically, in the sense of a series of individual relationships connecting faculty with administration (often through dept. chairs), rather than horizontally, which would emphasize our shared interests. This vertical structure yields an atomized faculty that disables shared governance by causing us to see ourselves as in competition with one another rather than as the colleagues we truly are. Faculty should be understood as a collective designation. We are the guardians of academic integrity, which is why even accrediting agencies (not always sympathetic to faculty, by the way) emphasize the centrality of shared governance to the continuing health of any institution. Developing structures and habits of collaboration are critical to protecting shared governance and academic freedom, no less the integrity of this institution.
So, I hope you take a moment to look at the AAUP website (wwe.aaup.org), read up on what it is, and then join the group. It’s easy and you join as an individual faculty member. Our chapter collects a membership list and builds outwardly from there. Please visit our website https://tuaaup.org/ for more information on TU-AAUP activities.
United for a better TU,
Brian Hosmer, President AAUP-TU
Brian Hosmer, President
Matt Hindman, Vice President
Machele Dill, Secretary
Tamara Piety, Treasurer
Absolutely not! TU-AAUP is its own organization affiliated with the national AAUP organization and is completely separate from CFTU. It is our aim to represent all faculty on the TU campus in matters of academic freedom, shared governance, and best practices. These issues are important to us all separate from any other university matters.
You may visit the national website at aaup.org. We highly recommend that each member read the AAUP manual, The Red Book. There are multiple copies on campus including in the AAUP reference section in the Faculty Lounge in McFarlin Library. You may also click on the link below to purchase your own copy.
Active AAUP chapters serve the profession at over 500 accredited colleges and universities. You may visit the link below to find chapters across the country.