About AFT Higher Education

The AFT represents higher education faculty (including full- and part-time, tenure stream and contingent), professional staff and graduate employees in all sectors of higher education, including public and private as well as two-year and four-year institutions.

The AFT Higher Education division’s mission is to help our affiliates and their members prosper in the face of political, economic and technological forces challenging the most basic assumptions about the union’s role on campus. Political attacks on public service in general and public higher education in particular have, in part, resulted in:

  • tight budgets and widespread program eliminations, due to an ongoing, systematic disinvestment in public higher education;
  • the exploitation of part-time/adjunct and other nontenure-track faculty, as well as graduate employees; and
  • myriad attacks on tenure, shared governance and academic freedom.

The AFT Higher Education program and policy council, which represents the interests of higher education members to the larger organization, steers the union’s efforts in addressing the current trends in higher education. In addition, AFT Higher Education’s policy statements on issues such as tenure, shared governance, contingent labor and more offer information and policy guidance to advance the union agenda. AFT Higher Education supplements these publications through both its conferences and its work with other AFT divisions on matters that affect higher education and our locals.