The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is partnering with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), bringing together two unions with more than 300,000 higher ed faculty, the largest such alliance in the country.
“The AAUP has been the voice and conscience of higher education for well over 100 years,” said AAUP President Dr. Irene Mulvey.
The partnership comes amid increased legislation against teaching and academic freedom, and persistent underfunding of public higher ed, according to an AAUP press release.
“Working together, we will be much better equipped to take on the challenges facing higher education—anti-intellectual attacks on the teaching of history, legislative intrusion into the academy, disinvestment and chronic underfunding of public higher education and the resulting casualization of academic workers,” Mulvey said.
AAUP will maintain its independence and autonomy, Mulvey said.
“This partnership is game-changing for the promise and potential of higher education. It brings together the members and the work the AFT and the AAUP do on campuses nationwide,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Through this affiliation, we double down on the work to make colleges and universities excellent places to teach and learn, and to join forces to battle the ongoing threats to academic freedom and democracy. We will marshal forces to better fight for the necessary resources for postsecondary education to thrive, and we’ll organize to make academic jobs more sustainable and the promise of higher education more accessible to all. The AFT and the AAUP believe strongly in the foundational principle of higher education as a public good and look forward to this affiliation as a new frontier for American academia.”