About the AAUP

The AAUP is a nonprofit membership association of faculty and other academic professionals. Headquartered in Washington, DC, we have members and chapters based at colleges and universities across the country. 

Since our founding in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country's colleges and universities. We define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, advance the rights of academics, particularly as those rights pertain to academic freedom and shared governance, and promote the interests of higher education teaching and research. 

AAUP chapters at campuses across the country work to advance the mission of the AAUP through advocacy, organizing and, in some cases, collective bargaining. In some states, state conferences support chapters and work on state level issues.

Our sister organization, the AAUP Foundation, is a public charity; it funds, through its grant-making process, the charitable and educational purposes of the AAUP, including support for academic freedom and quality higher education.



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, postdoctoral 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.

AAUP Constitution

The 2024 Biennial Association Meeting amended the constitution of the AAUP.

Elected Leaders

The leaders of the Association are drawn from colleges and universities throughout the country. Find out about chapter, state conference, and national leaders.

Find a Chapter

A list of AAUP chapter and affiliate websites.

State Conferences

A state conference is formed when several chapters in a state decide to work together to advance AAUP policies and goals.

AAUP/AFT Affiliation

The AAUP is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.


AAUP standing committees work on a variety of topics of importance to higher education and to faculty. 

Biennial Meeting

The Biennial Association Meeting is the business component of the larger AAUP Conference and Biennial Meeting.


Staff directory and contact information.

History of the AAUP

The AAUP was formed in 1915 by Arthur Lovejoy and John Dewey. Almost a century later, the AAUP is still addressing the kinds of abuse that spurred Lovejoy and Dewey to organize the Association. Academia has changed a lot since 1915, but there are still people who want to control what faculty members teach and write. Thanks to the AAUP, academic freedom is widely recognized as the fundamental principle of our profession. Despite this acceptance, academic freedom remains vulnerable. The attacks are subtle in some cases, but the response must always be decisive.