Organization of the AAUP

The AAUP has reorganized into three interlocked entities under one AAUP umbrella: the AAUP (a professional association), the AAUP-CBC (a labor union), and the AAUP Foundation (a foundation).

This change better aligns our legal status with our evolving activities, our evolving membership, and our ambitious aims for future programs and services.

For years the AAUP discussed restructuring to meet the changing needs of the Association’s members. In 2004, a restructuring task force was formed to develop a plan to reorganize the Association. That plan recommended that the AAUP, then a public charity, separate into three interconnected entities with the common purpose of working in support of AAUP’s mission and foundational principles. At the 2008 Annual Meeting, the AAUP membership, the AAUP Council, and the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress Executive Committee all approved the plan to reorganize into the three related entities. In January 2009, the AAUP submitted to the IRS a private letter ruling request (PLR) seeking tax guidance on the restructuring plan. Over the last few years, the AAUP has submitted a series of revised letters to the IRS about the restructuring plan and clarifying the relationships between the three entities of the AAUP enterprise. In February 2012, the IRS finally issued its PLR, making it possible for the AAUP to move forward with restructuring into three entities. As of January 1, 2013, the restructuring is complete! The AAUP enterprise now consists of 1) the AAUP, a professional membership association that will look and act similarly to the previous AAUP; 2) the AAUP-CBC, a labor union; and 3) the AAUP Foundation, a public charity. 
The AAUP enterprise shall operate cohesively and collaboratively, sharing a common commitment to academic freedom and shared governance, defining fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, and ensuring higher education’s contribution to the common good.  Each entity shall collectively and appropriately coordinate its operations. Each entity is briefly described below, and here is a PowerPoint overview of the three entities.  

  • The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is a non-profit professional association organized and operated pursuant to Section 501 (c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. The AAUP is formed to promote the common business interest of the academic profession by defining fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, advancing the rights of academics, particularly as those rights pertain to academic freedom and shared governance, and promoting the interests of higher education and research. AAUP will support the activities of the Union and the Foundation and will be the core operational bedrock entity. See the new AAUP Constitution
  • The American Association of University Professors Collective Bargaining Congress (AAUP-CBC) is an unincorporated nonprofit association organized and operating pursuant to 501 (c)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code. The AAUP-CBC is formed to promote organizing and collective bargaining among tenured, tenure-track and contingent faculty, academic professionals, and graduate students in an effort to achieve stronger institutions of faculty governance, providing fairer procedures for resolving grievances, securing the academic and economic status of faculty and professionals in the academic community, and promoting free inquiry and advancing the standards and practices that guarantee the quality of American higher education. See the AAUP-CBC Constitution.  
  • The AAUP Foundation is a nonprofit corporation organized and operated pursuant to Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The AAUP Foundation is operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and shall only engage in activities that establish and support principles of academic freedom and the quality of higher education in a free and democratic society. See the AAUP Foundation constitution.

The AAUP’s restructuring opens the door to many new opportunities.  Separation into three entities provides greater flexibility to grow in membership and significantly diversify and broaden the activities each entity can engage in as they collectively advocate for a stronger voice in higher education!  

Any comments or questions may be sent to associate counsel Nancy Long.

Frequently Asked Questions about Restructuring.