Guidelines for Good Practices for Chapters & Conferences

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The Association’s constitution prescribes few requirements for establishing chapters and conferences and provides only broad terms for the standards of chapter and conference conduct. AAUP’s governing Council has the authority to revoke the charter of a chapter and withdraw its approval of the existence of a conference in cases of “financial malpractice,” “failure to transmit members’ dues to the Association or to satisfy other financial obligations,” “disregard of democratic procedures,” and “disregard of other principles, policies, or procedures of the Association.” AAUP collective bargaining chapters are also subject to other standards of conduct imposed by either state or federal law that regulate union finances, relationships with members and non-members, and internal governance.

These Guidelines for Good Practices for Chapters and Conferences are intended to amplify the constitutional standards of conduct for chapters and conferences and provide guidance for chapter and conference officers.

Financial Rectitude

Officers of membership organizations have a special obligation to administer the organization’s funds honestly and openly. In addition to the AAUP’s constitutional proscription of “financial malpractice,” chapters and conferences might also be held to standards imposed by state or federal law both in terms of reporting financial information and administering funds.

For many chapters, meeting this obligation is neither onerous nor costly. For collective bargaining chapters, the administration of finances may require the expense of an audit or other formal review of the organization’s finances.

Transmittal of Members’ Dues

Payroll deduction chapters must remit National AAUP dues and, in cases where there are agency fee agreements, agency fees to the Association on behalf of all members of the chapter who pay dues to the chapter. Dues remittance must occur in a timely fashion. Further, chapters may not accept “local only members,” i.e., individuals who pay some amount to the chapter but are not members of the Association.

Democratic Governance

AAUP chapters and conferences should maintain democratic practices and procedures. Chapters and conferences are expected to adhere to the constitution of the Association as well as their own constitution or other governing documents.

Regard for Association Principles, Policies, and Procedures

Chapters and conferences engage in the critical work of the Association advocating on behalf of the profession and working to implement AAUP principles and standards at their institutions and in their states. Chapters and conferences cannot issue statements, reports, or other communications in the name of the national AAUP. Chapters and conferences also should refrain from acting or operating in a manner that could cause confusion with the national AAUP.

The Association’s procedures reserve to the executive director the exclusive responsibility to authorize AAUP investigations of alleged violations of fundamental principles of academic freedom, due process, and shared governance. These investigations are authorized only after a comprehensive preliminary investigation and consultation with the Staff Committee on Investigations. Once an investigation is authorized, the Association and/or the committee of faculty investigators may seek a chapter or conference’s assistance.