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AFI Conservatory Faculty Votes for Union

Los Angeles– In an election held this week, a vast majority of the eighty-one part-time and full-time faculty at the AFI Conservatory voted to form a union for collective bargaining with the American Association of University Professors. The vote was fifty-four to seven.

The AFI Conservatory, a program of the American Film Institute, is a highly respected graduate film school providing training in six film-making disciplines. Many of the faculty are working filmmakers and are also members of entertainment industry unions.

The faculty’s top concern is one of shared governance — having a meaningful voice in the direction of the institution.

“We are excited to give the AFI faculty a voice in the school's future through shared governance and to strengthen the faculty's relationship with the administration.  It is our belief that a unified faculty voice is in the best interests of the Fellows and the Conservatory as well as the faculty,” said Rob Spera, an AFI Conservatory lecturer.

“We are so proud to welcome the faculty from the AFI Conservatory. We are happy that these new members will have a voice in the process and a seat at the table,” said Howard Bunsis, chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress.


The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education's contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country's colleges and universities.

Media Contact: 
Laura Markwardt – 202-594-3635/
Publication Date: 
Friday, April 29, 2016