What is AAUP?
The American Association of University Professors is a national organization representing college and university faculty members exclusively. With members at more than 2000 institutions and local chapters at 960 campuses, chapter organizations are united on a state wide basis. The AAUP is dedicated to defending the principles of academic freedom and tenure and to establishing sound academic standards to ensure due process.
The University of Delaware AAUP Chapter is certified by the State of Delaware Department of Labor to represent full-time faculty members on the issues of wages, salaries, hours, vacations, sick leave, grievance procedures, sabbatical leaves and other terms and conditions of employment as set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (contract).
AAUP Serves All Faculty
The University of Delaware chapter of the American Association of University Professors, AAUP, exists to help our members on a number of levels:
- the achievement of economic security
- a guarantee of freedom of expression
- the right to work in an environment free of discrimination
- and the assurance of flexible benefits and a grievance procedure
We also have an array of unique concerns that are related to education and research. It is the AAUP’s task not only to protect the faculty’s economic and workplace rights, but also to guarantee academic freedom and to conceptualize, and make the Administration aware of, specific ways in which the University can deepen its commitment to educational excellence. Without AAUP, there would be no campus organization devoted exclusively to faculty rights, economic concerns and educational excellence. Consequently, no faculty member gains by not supporting the AAUP’s agenda. All faculty benefit from the AAUP’s existence.
- Salaries above the median for comparable universities in our region
- Challenged the Administration to use UD’s financial resources to better promote academic excellence
- Tuition remission for spouses and dependents
- Increased health benefits including a long term care policy that covers domestic partners
- Financial support for eye care, health and wellness programs
- Salary adjustments for greater equity
- Maternity leave or administered workloads due to the birth of a child
- Family leave with continuing health benefits
- Liability insurance for faculty conducting research off campus
- Faculty right to see confidential letters of recommendation for appointment to department faculty positions
- Improved employment conditions for full-time non-tenure track faculty
- Increased protection of full-time faculty positions
- Advice of the faculty within the department, by a formal vote, for the appointment or reappointment of the Department Chairperson
- Testified on University budgetary needs at state legislative hearing
- Methodical defense of faculty rights, privileges and academic freedom through the grievance procedure
- Negotiated increased compensation for winter and summer session courses
- Full year sabbatical leave at three-quarter pay
- One semester research sabbatical leave for tenure track professors
- Improved retirement options, including a phased retirement plan
- Support for the National AAUP’s efforts to fight challenges to academic freedom, the quality of higher education, and the future of our profession
When we negotiate a new contract with the Administration, the AAUP and the Administration begin with noticeably distinct versions of what the faculty is worth in terms of base pay, health care and other benefits. Prior to negotiations, faculty are surveyed about their concerns and issues. Whatever the faculty receives as a result of these contracts is extracted from the Administration through analysis, argument and negotiating skill. Agreement cannot be reached without the approval first of the AAUP Steering Committee and then of the AAUP membership. Faculty gains are not given to us as a gift. Any faculty member who believes such gains “just happen,” or would happen without the work of the AAUP, is seriously deficient in their understanding of faculty-Administrations relations in higher education. The truth is if you are a UD faculty member, you currently receive a higher salary and better benefits than you would receive if the AAUP did not exit.
Investing in Excellence
The University of Delaware is one of the richest state universities of its size in the U.S. In terms of endowment funds per student, UD is ranked fifth highest in the county among public universities. Given this, the Administration should be as energetic in improving faculty salaries and compensation as it is in improving the physical plant. Such salary and compensation increases must be such that the financial situation of UD faculty continues to improve in relation other universities within our comparator group. This is the only way to keep current faculty here and also attract new faculty. Additionally, the Administration should be more attentive to the faculty’s vision of how to improve the University’s educational services. Only through this kind of commitment to education and concern with faculty opinion can UD become a magnet for faculty and students who are interested in joining a university community noted for its devotion to academic excellence.
The promotion of a culturally diversity campus is a major AAUP commitment, although the process in this area has been slow. Academic pluralism and the elimination of inequities based on gender, race, sexual orientation,national origin and other characteristics (as listed in the contract) are non-negotiable union objectives.
Make the Choice
About half of UD’s faculty are currently members of the AAUP. If you are not a member, but agree with the objectives summarized here, you should join. The truth is that you are already benefiting from the union’s existence. The time has come to support the organization that supports you. Remember: the more members we have, the greater our bargaining power, especially during a bargaining year.