Michel Aaij

Michel Aaij (b. 1968) is an associate professor in the Department of English and Philosopy at the Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), Alabama. He is noted for his contributions to the free-access, free-content, internet encyclopedia Wikipedia and is widely reported as gaining tenure in part on the basis of his contributions to it.[1][2]


Aaij studied physics, philosophy, and English at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. He gained his M.A. in English at the University of Alabama in 1996 and his Ph.D. in English at the same university in 2003.[1]

Wikipedia contributions and tenure

By 2011, Aaij had contributed more than 60,000 edits on biographies of living persons, academia topics, and Dutch subjects. He contributed to articles particularly useful to Auburn University at Montgomery, including an article about the school and a biography of a colleague.

When he came to apply for tenure, he felt his contributions merited inclusion. He initially proposed to list these in the "services" section of his application, but two of his colleagues persuaded him to include his contributions under the "research" section as well.

Aaij's tenured colleagues approved him unanimously, and the campus-wide committee awarded him tenure in March 2011. LiAnna Davis, Director of Program Support at the Wiki Education Foundation, observes that this was perhaps the first time a professor has received tenure in part due to his Wikipedia contributions.[3][2]

Selected works

Scholarly articles

Aaij, Michel (December 1999). "Perverted Love in Chaucer's "Anelida and Arcite"". Medieval Perspectives 14: 13-19. ISSN 1057-5367.

Aaij, Michel Pieter (2002). ""Elene" and the True Cross".  PhD Dissertation. The University of Alabama 227 (2002)

Aaij, Michel (May 2007). "Boniface's Booklife: How the Ragyndrudis Codex Came to be a Vita Bonifatii". The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe  (10).

Aaij, Michel (Fall 2009). "A Love Stronger than Death: The Persistence of Saint Elisabeth in Western Europe". Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality  9 (2): 189-216.


[1]  "Aaij, Michel". Auburn University at Montgomery.
[2]  Davis, LiAnna (6 April 2011). "Tenure awarded based in part on Wikipedia contributions". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
[3]  "About us". Wiki Education Foundation. Retrieved 3 December 2015.