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Forming a Section for Delegate Representation

Note: This information was sent to officers of section-eligible chapters on February 3 and 20, 2020.

Changes to the AAUP’s organizational structure took effect on January 1, 2020. In the restructured AAUP, the annual meeting and mail ballot election will be replaced with a biennial meeting at which delegates will vote in AAUP elections. Chapters with fewer than 250 members will have the option of joining with other chapters in their state to create a section to elect a delegate or delegates to represent the combined membership at the biennial meeting. This will allow chapters to pool resources and make attendance at the biennial delegate meeting more affordable.

The section may send to each meeting of the Association not more than one common delegate for each 250 aggregate members of the participating chapters (for example, 251 aggregate members would entitle a section to two delegates), up to a maximum of ten delegates, plus any alternate delegates. The section delegate(s) will cast the votes of the aggregate membership of the participating chapters. Once a chapter joins a section, the chapter members will be eligible to be nominated to serve as the delegate for the section; however, the chapter will not be able to send a delegate for the chapter to the biennial meeting. If there is more than one nominee for a single section delegate position—or, if a section is entitled to multiple delegates, more nominees than the number of delegate positions—there will be an election in which all members of chapters participating in the section will vote for the section delegate(s).

The AAUP has set up a process for forming and operating sections and has materials available to assist sections and chapters joining sections.

One Section per State
The section must be open to all eligible chapters in the state and provide all eligible chapters the option to join the section.

Section Coordinator
There will be one individual who will be the section coordinator. This person does not need to be a member of a chapter in the section (for example, it could be a state conference staff person). The section coordinator will be the point of contact for the section and will coordinate outreach to the section chapters and members. The section coordinator will be provided with the contact information for eligible chapters in the state and, once chapters join a section, will be provided with contact information for the members of chapters participating in the section. Coordinators should be sure to be available to oversee initial communications with eligible chapters and subsequent communications with members of participating chapters. To declare your interest in serving as the section coordinator for your state, please complete the Google form on the section page on the AAUP website.

Section Page on AAUP Website
The AAUP provides information about and resources for sections at

  • Section Overview and Description: The web page currently has a link to FAQs on what a section is and link to a webinar on forming and operating sections. The material in this email, updated for developments and the passage of time, will also be posted to the web page. The form for declaring interest in being a section coordinator will appear on this page through March 1.
  • Listing of Sections by State with Section Coordinator Name and Email Address: Starting in mid-February the section page will have a listing of states in which there is a section, with the contact information for the section coordinator so that individual chapters can reach out to the section coordinator.
  • Section Nomination and Election Material: The AAUP will post document samples, informational materials, and instructions for sections to use in nominating and electing section delegates.

March 1, 2020—Deadline for Expressing Interest in Forming a Section
The AAUP needs to receive notification by March 1, 2020, that at least two chapters desire to form a section, and the AAUP will need to have the name and contact information for the proposed section coordinator. If AAUP receives more than one request in a state, the AAUP will put the proposed coordinators in touch with each other. AAUP will begin posting section coordinator information on the website in mid-February.

Mid-February–March 30—Posting of Section Information and Outreach to Chapters by Section Coordinator and AAUP
As AAUP receives notice of interest in a section, and the name of section coordinators, this information will be posted on the section page. Section coordinators will be given contact information for the leaders of eligible chapters in the state, and the Section Coordinators should reach out to those leaders to determine if they are interested in participating in the section. The AAUP will also send out emails to all eligible chapters linking to the section web page.

April 1, 2020—Deadline for Chapters in a State to Join a Section
Chapters will have until April 1, 2020, to decide whether to join a section in their state. The decision to join or not join a section as of April 1, 2020, is binding. If a chapter is participating in the section, the chapter will not be eligible to send a chapter delegate to the biennial meeting, and instead will be represented by the section delegate. After the deadline expires, the section coordinator will send to the AAUP a list of chapters participating in the section, and AAUP will contact the chapters to confirm their participation and notify the chapters that they will not be able to send a chapter delegate to the AAUP biennial meeting.

Early April, 2020—The Section Will Begin the Process for Nominating and Electing Delegates
Once the participating chapters are confirmed, the section will begin the process of nominating and electing delegates. Delegates must be members in good standing of a participating chapter in order to be eligible for nomination and election as a section delegate. If only one delegate is nominated for each open position in a section, there will be no ballot election of delegates, and the section delegate will be considered elected by acclamation. Additional information regarding the nomination and election process is available on the section web page.

Mid-Late May, 2020—Deadline for Sections to Register Section Delegates and Alternates
The sections will need to have concluded the nomination and election of delegates, and they must submit by this date a delegate registration form identifying all delegates and alternates. For sections not holding a ballot election, the registration form is due no later than May 15. For sections holding ballot elections, there may be a short extension. Once elected, section delegates are treated the same as other chapter delegates.

June 19 and 20, 2020—AAUP Biennial Meeting
Section delegates must attend the meeting and be credentialed on June 19, 2020, in order to cast votes at the biennial meeting. There is no proxy or absentee voting, so the section delegate must attend the meeting in person.