From the News column of the February 2008 issue of Perspectives on History
AAUP to Be Restructured
AHA Staff, February 2008
In an effort to strengthen and expand its activities, the American Association of University Professors has announced plans for restructuring itself into three interlocked entities—a professional organization, a labor organization, and a charitable organization—that will operate under the umbrella of the AAUP.
The reorganization currently in progress is the result of the recommendations of a task force that the AAUP set up in 2004. Three constitutions are being developed for ratification at the annual meeting of the AAUP to be held in June 2008 and in subsequent gatherings.
The professional organization, one that individual faculty members will join, will be the core entity. This will most closely correspond to the existing AAUP and will continue to be called the AAUP.
The second element of the restructured AAUP will be the "labor organization"—the entity that would inherit and foster the objectives of the collective bargaining unit of the AAUP, the Collective Bargaining Congress. It would consist of the AAUP chapters that are engaged in collective bargaining, and because it will be a separate legal entity, will have much greater autonomy than it does now to undertake collective bargaining negotiations.
The third element, the "charitable organization"—the "AAUP foundation" as it may be called—is intended to attract and manage financial contributions that would help to support the work of the AAUP's professional entity.
The AAUP undertook the restructuring because, as Robert Gorman, the chair of the task force on restructuring explained, "this would make it possible for the AAUP to pursue more vigorously its activities such as litigation and government relations, preparation of reports, sponsoring of conferences dealing with a wider array of professional issues, and offering of special benefits to its members."
(See also “No Man or Woman Is an Island: An Open Letter to AHA Members from the AAUP President” by Cary Nelson.)