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Member Recruitment Tips

    by Cary Nelson

    1. ABOUT THE VIDEOS. These videos were filmed with an analogue recorder and then digitized. You would get better results now with a digital camcorder. Note, however, that lighting and sound quality are good even with this older technology. If you are visiting this site from another campus, please consider both linking to our videos and making your own videos for your AAUP chapter web site. Editing software is now very easy to use. Although we are making the case for membership to research university faculty, many of the issues are universal. But you can emphasize your own local issues if you make your own videos. The “medium” sized videos will load more quickly. Both are designed for fast internet connections.
    2. IT’S FUN. You may be surprised to learn that visiting colleagues and asking them to join the AAUP is usually enjoyable.
    3. LISTEN. Be sure to listen to people, since this is an opportunity for them to voice their concerns about the campus and higher education in general.
    4. IT’S EASY. Most faculty members are happy to join the AAUP once they are approached individually.
    5. HOW TO PAY. For campuses that do not have payroll deduction for AAUP dues, signing up for a monthly bank debit is an easy and painless way to pay. It spreads annual dues out over twelve monthly payments and renews automatically unless a member cancels the arrangement.
    6. FORMS. Keep membership forms with you at all times on campus.
    7. LAPSED MEMBERS. Approaching lapsed members is a very efficient way to start rebuilding chapter membership. Most lapsed members don’t make a decision to resign their membership; they just forget to renew.
    8. FRIENDS. Practice recruiting by approaching your friends and department colleagues first.
    9. DEPARTMENTS. A campus wide recruitment drive should first emphasize departments that already have a significant AAUP presence.
    10. LETTER. An organized membership drive should be kicked off with an email or hard copy letter to all faculty and graduate students. The letter should mention any pressing local concerns.
    11. MEETINGS. Getting people to attend a member recruitment or chapter business meeting can be challenging. Serving refreshments can help. But simply emailing people or posting announcements is not enough. You need to set up phone trees to ask people to attend. And consider what the California Faculty Association does to build attendance: they send people a “Meeting Attendance Pledge Form” and ask people to sign and return it. It works.
    12. Take advantage of local and national emails and mailings to reinforce membership once people have joined.