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AAUP Wayne State University Chapter Records

Identifier: LR000662

Scope and Content

Part I (boxes 1-5) membership lists, applications and questionnaires, correspondence, flyers, meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, committee reports, surveys, and President Arnold Pilling's notes of phone conversations and diary entries related to the chapter's activities during its formative years, election campaign and the contract negotiations Part II (boxes 1-31) are broken up into three series. Series I (1-9) contains grievance and arbitration files with no order. Series II (boxes 10-30) contains Subject files that contain meeting minutes, correspondence, negotiation files, budget information, reports, newspaper clippings, newsletters, flyers, strike information, legal documents, salary information. Series III (boxes 30-31) contain financial information, contacts, photographs and two audio cassettes.


  • 1940 - 2021


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


The records of the Wayne State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs between 1958 to the present. Part I was opened in 2005 and Part II was opened in 2022.

The Wayne State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was formed in the fall of 1930 at a time when faculty at the College of the City of Detroit was pushing the Detroit Board of Education towards the organization of a university, achieved in 1933 with the creation of what became Wayne State University. In the early years, AAUP concerned itself primarily with administrative reform, fighting for faculty participation in University governance. In 1965 the Michigan Legislature passed the Public Employment Relations Act, which granted collective bargaining rights to public employees. Many teachers quickly demanded that elections for representation be held and started bargaining with the administration for union contracts. In 1970, WSU AAUP, WSU federation of teachers and faculty association started organizing to see who would represent faculty/staff on the campus of WSU. An election to determine a collective bargaining representative among WSUFT, AAUP, and the MEA-affiliated Faculty Association took place in March of 1972. WSUFT and AAUP, the top vote-getters, were pitted against each other in a runoff election the following month, with the AAUP winning a narrow victory. In May of 1973, the union signed its first contract with the University and immediately started to negotiate its first contract that would represent faculty and academic staff a unique situation for the union to have both in one bargaining unit. During the 1970s the union matured as a powerful union representing its members in arbitrations, and grievances to protect tenure, academic freedom, and promotions and flexed its muscle by calling for a strike in 1978. The union won an increase in wages, equal pensions for men and women as well as issues with benefits, tenure, and promotion. The union was an advocate for pay equity among women workers, fighting to right the wrongs of sexual bias in hiring and salaries. The AAUP also was part of a sexual discrimination suit against TIAA.

The period of the 1980s the union continued to experience maturity and its strength was tested by the new president David Adamany. While Adamany expanded the universities footprint and mission, he sought salary cuts and challenged the union on shared governance, tenure, union rights, and employment security for staff. The administration at the negotiating table constantly tried to divide the union, proposing to eliminate Academic Service Officers from the union and other things that finally forced the union to go out on strike, in 1988 with a strike that lasted for 11 days. Other issues that the university and the union faced was the shift of budget support from the state which caused massive budget cuts and the university was facing student population drops which from 1977 dropped 25%.

Entering the 1990s the union saw the same treatment it received from the Adamany administration. Wayne State was found to be spending far less from its general fund on instruction than any other comparable Michigan university while the administration added more management positions. Still far apart on the future of academic staff, salary, and workload for faculty the AAUP went on two strikes in 1990 and 1994 both for three days. There were some unique advances and one being the relationship with the academic staff within the unit and the creation of a type of tenure system for the employees. Pressure from the administration to rid tenure for academic staff for many years finally became resolved with both sides creating employment security status which is essentially tenure but with an emphasis to gain it through job performance rather than scholarship. With a new president, Irvin Reid arriving on campus in 1998, a feeling of collaboration and consultation was felt to move WSU into the 21st century. However, it was only with a one-day walkout in 1999 that was needed to pressure the new administration to move forward with bargaining. What was accomplished was to have MLK day as a holiday, instead of a fair share clause a better union environment with various committees, letters in new hire packets, lecturers guaranteed multi-year contracts, and numerous others. Frustrated with not gaining what they had hoped over the years the union saw an opportunity to finally advance its power by merging with the Michigan Federation of Teachers. By doing so the union saw an opportunity to strengthen membership in the local. With the anti-union attacks over the past decade and the shift of hiring in medicine and engineering which had never been strong union membership, the union saw that a merger would help with more resources for internal organizing. Also, the MFT influence in Lansing was proven for many years in defeating anti-collective bargaining legislation, and being a part of the AFL-CIO would bring more clout politically. It was over the matter of whether dues would go up that concerned most members, but the result was a vote in favor to merge to become the AAUP-AFT Local 6075 in December 1998. By 2002 the union won agency fee clause in the contract. A wish that the union had been wanting for 20 decades with the help of the MFT. Other improvements in the early 200s were improvement in workload for faculty, pushed back on post-tenure review, and the issues of student evaluations. What continued to be an issue for the union and administration was dealing with the school of medicine. Income was generated from patient care, going from 5% in the 1960s to almost half by 2002. There was a need for more physicians to generate income, and at the same time how to provide career paths for physicians hired to produce income through various practice plans that manage clinical activities. A memorandum of understanding was created in the 1992 contract that would allow clinicians to acquire 25% tenure. Not an ideal situation but one that has been a constant issue in bargaining and fair representation. By 2002 new tenured or tenure-track faculty can be appointed at no less than 50% tenure.

This collection ends in the early 2000s but the union continues to represent faculty and academic staff well into the 21st century addressing more and more adjunct faculty work and employment security, the school of medicine, and other factors to make the community of Wayne State University more applicable and harmonious.


36 Linear Feet (36 SB)


The Wayne State University American Association of University Professors was formed in 1930. The early activities of the chapter focused on administrative reform and faculty participation in University governance. In May of 1973 WSU AAUP won an election against the Michigan Education Association-affiliated Faculty Association and the WSUFT (Wayne State University Federation of Teachers) to become the faculty collective bargaining representative. Collection materials include records relating to chapter activities and contract negotiations, as well as President Arnold Pilling's notes and diary entries related to the chapter's activities during its formative years, the 1972 election campaign and the first contract negotiations. Part II continues the history of the union as it matures to become a valuable voice for faculty and staff at WSU. The colletion evolves into more negotiation files as well as issues pertianing faculty and staff rights, union rights, budget issues and student evaluations. With the evolution of the modern university so does the union evolve to adapt to the changes.


Part I folders are arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically therein. Part II folders arranged alphabetically


The records of the Wayne State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs between 1958 and 1980 by the AAUP and Arnold Pilling. Part II materials came over the period of 1970s through 2000s from local's office

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in October 2005. Part II processed and finding aid created in 2022 by Dan Golodner, Hannah Bastin, Jay Williams
Guide to the AAUP Wayne State University Chapter Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library. Part II processed by Dan Golodner, Hannah Bastin, Jay Williams
Part I 2005-10 and Part II created 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Ave.
Detroit MI 48202 USA