Founded in 1915, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is an organization of university faculty that promotes and safeguards the two fundamental pillars of the academy: academic freedom and shared governance. Simply put, academic freedom is a type of freedom of speech that applies to academia. It means that academics should not face recrimination (including pressure, intimidation, denial of tenure or dismissal) due to the subject matter of their research or instruction. This is because the freedom of inquiry by university faculty (and, by extension, students) is indispensable to the mission of the academy in a free society. Shared governance means that faculty should have a meaningful voice in decisions involving personnel, selection of administrators, institutional budget, and determination of their university’s educational policies, among other topics.
In June of 2022 the AAUP became a national regional council of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). This means that all AAUP members are, by virtue of being dues-paying AAUP members, also AFT members with all the rights, privileges, responsibilities and benefits that go with being AFT members. Additionally, since the AFT is a member organization of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO), all AAUP/AFT members are members of the AFL-CIO.
The AAUP/AFT is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has members and chapters at nearly 1,000 campuses and 33 state conferences across the United States. With dozens of members in numerous colleges, departments and disciplines, our chapter, AAUP/AFT-CCU, is among the largest in the AAUP’s South Carolina Conference. The mission of our chapter reflects that of AAUP as a whole. We work closely with CCU’s established committees and the Faculty Senate on matters that touch on the AAUP’s mission and goals. We also work with the Offices of the President and the Provost in defense of shared governance, academic freedom, and the welfare of our faculty.
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