Sample Chapter Bylaws

These sample bylaws are a distillation of what many AAUP chapters have found workable. They may not suit your chapter's needs precisely. For instance, in addition to the executive and membership committees, your chapter may wish to establish other committees, such as a committee on government relations; the sample bylaws makes that optional. Or you may want to make the chair of the membership committee a member ex officio of the chapter's executive committee. You may wish to further refine the duties of the chapter's officers.

Material in brackets is for your guidance; do not include it in the text of your bylaws. For instance, in Article IV of these sample bylaws, you will find information in brackets pointing out that the AAUP constitution gives chapters the discretion to decide what officers to elect & how often. If you decide not to elect the typical four officers, you will need to adjust other provisions of your bylaws that involve the executive board.

In all matters, the chapter must act in harmony with the principles and procedures of the AAUP and its constitution. Article VII of the constitution specifically addresses the requirements of chapters; refer to it as you draft your bylaws.

Finally, for chapters in formation, adopting bylaws presents a good opportunity for teamwork and for putting real thought into the direction your chapter will take. Make the process as inclusive as you can without getting bogged down in micro-managing or excessive editing. And don't forget to provide a copy to the national office.

Article I: Name

The name of this organization is the ________________chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP or the Association).

Article II: Purposes

The purposes of this chapter are to:

1. Support the policies and goals of the Association as set forth in Article 1 of the AAUP constitution, and in all matters act in harmony with the principles and procedures of national Association and its constitution;

2. Facilitate the cooperation of teachers and research scholars in universities and colleges, and in professional schools of similar grade, for the promotion of the interests of higher education and research, and in general to increase the usefulness and advance the standards, ideals, and welfare of the profession.

3. Defend academic freedom at _____________ and throughout academe;

4. Encourage faculty participation in governance at _____________;

5. Protect and advance the professional status and interests of all faculty;

6. Facilitate the dissemination of information on higher education principles and practices;

7. Inform the academic community about AAUP standards and policy statements; and

8. Develop necessary and proper chapter programs for the accomplishment of the aforementioned purposes.

In furtherance of the purposes described above, but not in limitation thereof, the chapter shall have power to conduct studies; to disseminate statistics and other information; to engage in appropriate fundraising activities; to conduct promotional activities, including advertising and publicity, in or by any suitable manner of media; to hold such property as is necessary to accomplish its purposes; and to employ individuals to further its purposes under Article II. This chapter is organized and operated for the above stated purposes, and for other nonprofit purposes. No part of its assets, income, or profits shall be distributable to, or inure to the benefit of, any individual, except in consideration of services rendered.

Article III: Members

Eligibility for membership in this chapter shall extend to all current and retired faculty members and graduate students at ______who are national members of the American Association of University Professors, except for associate members. All chapter members may vote in chapter matters.

Article IV: Officers and Organization

The officers of this organization shall be the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The term of office shall be two years. Officers may serve no more than two consecutive terms. [The AAUP constitution requires that the chapter elect, from its active members, at least triennially, a president, a secretary, and a treasurer (or secretary-treasurer), and such other officers as the chapter may determine.]

President: The duties of the president shall include carrying out the policies of the chapter, appointing all committees of the chapter, exercising general supervision over the activities of the chapter, and presiding at meetings of the chapter and executive committee. The president shall be a member ex officio of all committees.

Vice president: The duties of the vice president shall include those usually appertaining to the office and those delegated by the president. In the absence of the president, the vice president shall serve in the president's stead.

Secretary: The duties of the secretary shall include keeping a record of all proceedings and correspondence of the chapter, certifying chapter delegates to the Association's annual meeting, preparing or overseeing the preparation of newsletters for distribution to the faculty if such shall be desired, maintaining official contact with the Association. It shall be the duty of the secretary to provide the secretary-treasurer of the Association the names of the officers of the chapter and the chapter bylaws and to conduct the correspondence of the chapter with the secretary-treasurer. In the absence of the president and vice president, the secretary shall preside at meetings of the chapter.

Treasurer: The treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all funds received and disbursed. At the request of the executive committee, the treasurer shall prepare an annual chapter budget and report of finances, and submit them for approval. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to remit to the Association and/or to the applicable state conference any dues collected on behalf of the Association and/or conference. In the absence of the president, vice president, and secretary, the treasurer shall preside at meetings of the chapter.

When an officer has resigned or is disqualified, the office shall be filled by a special election of the chapter, which shall be held as promptly as is feasible. The executive committee is empowered to fill vacancies in any elective office until a special election is held. The person so elected shall hold office for the remainder of the term. Officers elected by secret ballot shall also serve as chapter delegates/alternates to AAUP meetings and any applicable AAUP state conference meetings in the order listed above.

Article V: Dues

The chapter may establish chapter dues. Any chapter dues will be established by a secret ballot vote conducted among voting chapter members. The vote may be conducted either by mail ballot or, after reasonable notice, at a regular or special membership meeting. Chapter members must pay current AAUP dues, any mandatory conference dues, and chapter dues.

Article VI: Committees

A. Executive Committee

The executive committee shall consist of the elected officers of the chapter, the immediate past president, and two members elected at large. The majority of the executive committee shall constitute a quorum for conduct of business of the committee. The executive committee shall assume responsibility for the chapter's continuing effective presence at the institution, keeping all positions on the executive committee filled as vacancies occur. The executive committee shall:

1. Meet regularly;

2. Respond to faculty members seeking assistance;

3. Conduct the business of the chapter between meetings;

4. Regularly recruit members and encourage maintenance of membership;

5. Make necessary appointments to complete an unexpired term of any officer;

6. Set the agenda with appropriate notice for chapter meetings;

7. Consult regularly with the administration on matters of mutual interest; and

8. Respond to inquiries from the media.

B. Membership Committee

The membership committee shall regularly recruit new members and encourage the maintenance of membership. Working with the treasurer and other applicable chapter officers, the committee shall promote the establishment of a dues deduction plan and other appropriate plans to encourage membership recruitment and maintenance.

C. Other Committees

The chapter may create additional standing and ad hoc committees as necessary to promote the welfare of the chapter. The chair and members of these committees shall be appointed by the executive committee. Some such committees may be, but are not limited to:

    Academic freedom and tenure
    Status of women and minorities
    Professional ethics
    Accreditation of colleges and universities
    Elections, dues, and chapter organization
    Relationships with local, state, and federal governments
    Faculty participation in college and university governance
    Economic status of the profession

Article VII: Meetings

The chapter shall hold regular meetings at least twice each academic year.

Special meetings of the chapter may be called by the president or a majority of the executive committee. Written notice of such meetings shall be provided each member by the secretary of the chapter at least five days in advance of the meeting date. The president shall call special meetings of the chapter within seven days of being so directed by the executive committee or by a petition signed by ten percent of the members.

The quorum required for the transaction of business at all meetings of the chapter shall consist of 20 percent of the members.

Article VIII:

Dissolution Upon dissolution of the chapter, its assets shall be distributed to the Association, a professional association. 

Article IX: Amendments

These bylaws may be amended by majority vote of the members, provided that a notice setting forth the proposed amendment or amendments an explanation thereof and known objections thereto shall have been sent to each member at least thirty days prior to the vote. Any member of the chapter may initiate an amendment.

Article X: Rules of Order

Roberts Rules of Order Revised shall be the authority for this chapter in matters of procedure not specified above.

Enacted this ___________ day of ________________in the year ___________________.