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CB Chapter Litigation Fund Grant Application Instructions

The AAUP has established the Collective Bargaining Chapter Litigation Fund. The purpose of this fund is to provide grants to AAUP collective bargaining (“CB”) chapters to support important legal cases.

The grants support legal cases of importance to the broader higher education community or that may have significant precedential value for other AAUP chapters. Examples of such cases include violations of academic freedom, enforcement of civil or First Amendment rights, cases that challenge or reinforce the collective bargaining rights of chapters and faculty, and cases that may set a precedent for, or impact, higher education.

Legal cases that can be funded include federal or state court litigation, arbitrations, unfair labor practice proceedings, and other formal administrative proceedings. In order to be eligible, the legal case must be filed and pending in the appropriate legal forum. Funds cannot be used to cover internal appeals (such as step grievances or committee appeals) or proceedings (such as investigations).

Grants made to a chapter shall not exceed $20,000 per calendar year in total. The chapter must at least match the funds provided by the grant. The chapter will need to provide evidence of covered expenditures or obligations (such as attorneys’ bills or expense receipts) to support distribution and expenditure of grant funds.

The funds can be used to reimburse attorneys’ fees and other costs associated with the legal proceedings, such as filing fees and discovery costs. Grant funds cannot be used for expenses incurred prior to the calendar year of the grant. For ongoing expenses, grant funds will pay no greater than 50 percent of the expenses incurred. In the event that attorneys’ fees are recovered, in whole or part, at any stage in this proceeding, the chapter agrees to reimburse the litigation fund in the same proportion as the fund contributed to the funding of the proceeding.

In order to be eligible to receive a grant, a chapter must be in good standing with the AAUP, and must agree to comply with the terms of the grant. Upon approval of a grant request, the chapter will need to sign a Litigation Fund Grant Agreement.

The chapter, under the signature of the chapter president, must file the litigation fund application. In order to apply, chapters must submit an application, a copy of the chapter’s most recent audited financial statements, and any other required documents to the director of the AAUP Legal Department. Applications to the fund will be reviewed by the CB Chapter Litigation Fund Committee, which reserves the right to review an application on the merits at all levels of the judicial process.

Grant applications can be submitted electronically, with a typed signature of the president. Litigation fund applications, and any documents, as well as any questions, should be submitted to Aaron Nisenson, director of the Legal Department, at anisenson@aaup.org.