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AFT Higher Education Department: Graduate Student Organizing Files

Identifier: LR002916

Scope and Content

The collection is made up of one series that is in no particular order. The files Teaching Assistance is a variety of records related to organizing teaching assistances. The rest of the collection contains specific goals either organized by the AFT of other unions.


  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 2002

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.


The American Federation of Teachers was founded in April 1916 and organized its' first local of higher education faculty in 1918 at Howard University. For the next forty years the AFT organized a handful of locals in higher education and elected two national presidents from locals that were higher education. It was not until the 1960s that the AFT started organizing more higher education locals. In 1967 the AFT officially created the department to organzing employees in colleges and universities. The AFt now represents higher education faculty (full and part time), professional staff and graduate emplohyees in public, private as well as two-year and four-years higher education. The AFT higher education department assists affiliates in issues that deal with tenure, academic freedom, shared governance, technology, contigent labor and teacher education. These files consist of organizing efforts by the AFT to organize graduate students.


1 Linear Feet (1 SB)


The AFT Higher Education department was started in the late 1960s to focus organizing faculty and staff on campuses across the country. The department grew to also assist in collective baragining negotiations, and research around the issues of its members in higher education. This collection focuses on the organizing drives dealing with gradaute students. The collection is made up of mainly correspondence, newspaper clippings, journal articles, flyers and contracts.


Folders are listed. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire box.




Pulled from various sources as well as accumulated

Related Materials

AFT Organizing Department, AFT Secretary-Treasurer Department AFT Office of the President: Albert Shanker Graduate Employees Union at Michigan State University

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Daniel Golodner on Novmeber 11, 2019.
Guide to the AFT Higher Education Department: Graduate Student Organizing Files
Processed by Daniel Golodner
November 11, 2019
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 Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA