How FAUW works

Governing documents

FAUW's work is governed by two main documents, the FAUW Constitution, which covers our internal rules and processes, and our Memorandum of Agreement with the University, which dictates our interactions with the University and many of the terms and conditions of employment for faculty members.

How we negotiate policies (which cover other terms/conditions of employment not in the MoA) is spelled out in Policy 1 – Initiation and Review of University Policies (summarized on our policy development page).

Who is a member?

In the MoA, "member" means a member of the bargaining unit—all regular, dues-paying faculty.

In the FAUW Constitution, "member" means someone who has actively joined the association and has voting rights.

In practice, we use the term broadly (as per the MoA) and refer to those who've joined FAUW as "voting members."

FAUW logo: an open book with pages flying out of it like birds, representing academic freedom

Who does what

Here are some of the key roles within FAUW and how the work gets done.


Simply put, the Faculty Association is all of its members. Everyone represented by FAUW has a part to play in making the Association work well. Members help set priorities by sharing feedback through the FAUW Council, member polls, and other channels. 

Voting members also elect the president and directors, approve the budget, and approve changes to the FAUW constitution. Significant changes to the Memorandum of Agreement are also typically put to the membership of FAUW for approval.

Board of Directors

The elected directors are essentially stewards of the Association. They set the overall direction of the organization, and are concerned with mission achievement, long-term viability, stakeholder trust and confidence, and financial stewardship.

They also provide direction to the FAUW representatives on the Faculty Relations Committee (FRC).

President and executive committee

The president leads and oversees the association's operations. The Executive Committee consists of the president, past president (when applicable), vice president, treasurer, and one or two other Board members (usually five in total). It is responsible for advising the president in establishing the agendas of board and general meetings—in practice, this looks like triaging issues as they arise and strategizing how and where to address them.

Council of Representatives

The FAUW Council provides two-way communication between the Board of Directors and members in each department/school. Council members get updates at least once a month, hold meetings with the Board in fall and winter, and share input from their unit throughout the year.

FAUW committees

Some of FAUW's standing committees (e.g., the Lecturers Committee and Equity Committee) research, collect, and process information and advise directors on particular issues.

Other committees perform specific tasks such as running elections and recruiting volunteers (the Nominating and Elections Committee) or advising and supporting members (the Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee).

Representatives on UW committees

FAUW ensures that faculty members’ voices are represented at all levels of the university, appointing or recommending members for dozens of positions on university and joint committees and working groups.

Faculty Relations Committee

The work of negotiating most changes in working conditions with the administration (with the exception of salary negotiations) happens at the Faculty Relations Committee. In particular, FRC is where policies are approved that govern the terms and conditions of employment of our members. Many issues that don't require a policy solution are also resolved at FRC.

FRC is made up of five representatives each from the FAUW Board (normally the same members as the Executive Committee) and the University administration. It is co-chaired by the FAUW president and the Vice President Academic & Provost and meets every two weeks.

FAUW staff

FAUW has three staff members who support our work: