Though departmental and disciplinary cultures vary, one thing most faculty new to WMU share is a lack of clarity about what our faculty union is and how it impacts campus life. This is partly because the WMU-AAUP is an unusually vigorous, well-established, well-organized faculty collective bargaining unit when compared to those that may exist at other colleges and universities. With that in mind, here’s a brief summary that might to help us respond to new colleagues’ questions:
What does the WMU-AAUP do for faculty here at Western?
Because the WMU-AAUP can focus and harness the power of the entire body of Board-appointed WMU faculty, we are a formidable advocate for colleagues in countless ways. In many situations, the WMU-AAUP is the only line of defense between a faculty member and the considerable might of the WMU administration.
A few examples of what we do:
- push for salary increases, reasonable healthcare costs, and many other benefits, through the grueling contract negotiation process
- support individual faculty who believe they’ve been treated unfairly and/or in ways that violate the WMU-AAUP Agreement
- hold regular workshops to help faculty colleagues succeed through the promotion and tenure process
- exert a powerful influence in WMU’s culture of shared governance through our participation on key committees, as well as ongoing formal and informal conversations with administrators
How can new colleagues best support the union?
- sign and submit your dues card, and join the over 90% of WMU faculty who’ve already done so; this will ensure your access to all WMU-AAUP faculty services
- attend our Faculty Barbecue on Sept. 5th at Montague House
- attend our New Faculty Luncheon on September 20 with your department’s AAUP representative (Association Council member)
- attend the all-Chapter meetings held each semester and offer your input
- follow the WMU-AAUP on this blog, our enews, Facebook, and Twitter, and visit the WMU-AAUP’s website for quick access to critical resources
- stop by our regularly scheduled morning coffees and happy hours (dates announced in our emailed enews)
- stop by and see us at Montague House! we love to meet our new (and longtime!) colleagues
What’s the mission of the AAUP in general?
“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.”