Kansas Conference Chapter Service

The Chapter Service Program of the Kansas Conference is active in serving Kansas Chapters and Kansas members of the AAUP who are not affiliated with a chapter; the latter typically includes faculty at institutions who have not formed a chapter. The Kansas Conference is committed to the principles of academic freedom and tenure consistent with the guidelines articulated by the AAUP, and as such it receives and responds to requests from those who are not members. A natural extension of these services is the formation of a chapter if one does not exist.

Chapter formation and development is among the most significant work done by the Chapter Service Program. While each chapter, and potential chapter, has different issues on it campus, we have noted challenging situations on a campus can be a catalyst for change and it can create the impetus for a chapter to form. The Kansas Conference recommends faculty members or institutions contact the Conference as soon as possible if an issue is cause for concern. The Director of Chapter Services then makes a preliminary decision about the appropriate response; this often includes frequent communication and a campus visit by the director or other members of the executive committee. From facilitating communication and shared governance to academic freedom, the Kansas Conference may be able to assist with its presence and objective recommendations. The presence of an outside perspective (i.e., from neutral parties not affiliated with the specific campus) can be extraordinarily valuable.

The Kansas Conference does a variety of things to assist in the formation and development of chapters. A few wide-ranging examples might provide a glimpse of some of its activities. The conference considers holding its meetings in proximity to campuses where an AAUP presence might be helpful along with relevant topics on the meeting's agenda. It has provided complementary copies of the Redbook to the administration and members of a new chapter who attend the Conference meeting. This may help to create a closer affinity with the principles of the AAUP and a more effective chapter. The Kansas Conference considers focusing its resources on leadership development through its Chapter Service Program by providing some financial support to participate in the AAUP's Summer Institute.