AAUP Chapter and Conference Grants

By Kelly Hand

At their November meeting, the members of the AAUP’s governing Council approved funding to support the activities of AAUP chapters and state conferences across the country.

The Council awarded grants totaling nearly $100,000 from the COVID-19 Response Fund, established to mitigate the adverse financial impact of the pandemic, to advocacy and union chapters at Connecticut State University, Eastern Michigan University, Pennsylvania State University, Union County College, the University of Alaska, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, the University of Oklahoma, and Utica College. Examples of expenses the funds will support include efforts to help part-time faculty members get access to unemployment benefits, the hiring of a lawyer with expertise in COVID-19 accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, legal costs associated with asserting the right to meaningful impact bargaining, a study comparing one campus’s health policies to those of comparable institutions, and digital organizing tools and materials. The Council voted to establish a Crisis Response Fund to replace the COVID-19 Response Fund in 2022 and to assist AAUP chapters and state conferences with responding to crisis situations.

The fund may provide support for expenses such as those related to issue organizing around the impact of crises; lawsuits and arbitration; and events or studies to educate members, the administration, and the campus community about the impact of crises.

The Council also approved grants totaling $40,000 from the CB Chapter Mobilization Fund, established to support collective bargaining chapter organizing and member mobilization, for Montgomery College AAUP and Wayne State University AAUP-AFT. The funds will help these chapters run campus organizing programs to increase membership, recruit new leaders, and meet strategic goals.

The Council awarded state conference development grants, which provide funds for campaigns and projects that advance the AAUP’s mission and strategic priorities, to conferences in Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Tennessee. Funded activities include building support for passage of legislation enabling faculty to engage in collective bargaining, a digital-media campaign to defend tenure, analyses of campus spending and budget, creation of a state-specific “Adjunct’s Guide,” union organizing and bargaining campaigns, and a book club.