The end of 2014 was an interesting and important moment for faculty at private colleges. Since the Yeshiva supreme court ruling in 1980, faculty at private colleges have been considered “management.” New rules by the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) bring significantly more clarity to what this means, and when it may apply. Importantly, the new NLRB communication begins to clarify the difference between institutions that have effective shared governance (i.e., faculty are “managers”) and institutions that do not. AAUP states the following:
The board explained that under the new standard, “where a party asserts that university faculty are managerial employees, we will examine the faculty’s participation in the following areas of decision making: academic programs, enrollment management, finances, academic policy, and personnel policies and decisions.” The board will give greater weight to the first three areas, as these are “areas of policy making that affect the university as whole.” The board “will then determine, in the context of the university’s decision making structure and the nature of the faculty’s employment relationship with the university, whether the faculty actually control or make effective recommendation over those areas. If they do, we will find that they are managerial employees and, therefore, excluded from the Act’s protections.”
The board emphasized that to be found managers, faculty must in fact have actual control or make effective recommendations over policy areas. This requires that “the party asserting managerial status must prove actual—rather than mere paper—authority. . . . A faculty handbook may state that the faculty has authority over or responsibility for a particular decision-making area, but it must be demonstrated that the faculty exercises such authority in fact.” Proof requires “specific evidence or testimony regarding the nature and number of faculty decisions or recommendations in a particular decision making area, and the subsequent review of those decisions or recommendations, if any, by the university administration prior to implementation, rather than mere conclusory assertions that decisions or recommendations are generally followed.” Further, the board used strong language in defining “effective” as meaning that “recommendations must almost always be followed by the administration” or “routinely become operative without independent review by the administration.” (Source: AAUP)
For more details, click here to read AAUP’s press release on this matter.
Read it. Sign it. Share your experience. We’ll use your signature and your comments to show trustees, administrations, and lawmakers nationwide that we demand better colleges and universities.
Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.
-1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure
- The university is a public good, not a private profit-making institution, and corporations or business interests should not dictate teaching or research agendas.
- The life of a university should reflect all dimensions of human endeavor and be built on the full and open participation of diverse faculty and students.
- The main aims of teaching are the dissemination of knowledge and the fostering of creativity; learning is not just about developing “job skills.”
- The main aim of research is to create new knowledge, and academic freedom is essential for the free search for truth and its free expression. Research is not just about enhancing the profit margins of corporations.
- After teaching and research, the third mission of universities is about engaging communities and addressing social disadvantage, and not just about “enterprise engagement” or “economic development.”
- All who work at universities are entitled to a dignified and collegial workplace free of surveillance and authoritarian dictates and to resist the degradation of their working conditions.
- Students are the next generation of enlightened and humane citizens, not just revenue streams or the bearers of collateral for unsustainable debt loads.
- Information and communications technologies are welcome tools for teaching and research but should not be used to impoverish the quality of education or reduce faculty-student contact time.
- University management should resist public education cutbacks and reverse the multiplying of senior management posts, many of which are unnecessary.
- Faculty shared governance is the cornerstone of any university that values teaching and research. The authority of faculty in hiring decisions, promotions, and curricular matters should not be compromised by donors, trustees, or administrators. Similarly, the faculty voice in budgeting, institutional planning, and other internal operations should not be marginalized.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a new op-ed out on lowering income inequality while providing a framework for pay equity on campuses:
At St. Mary’s College of Maryland, a public honors college, a group of faculty and staff members, students, and alumni have put together a proposal that would permanently cap the growing ratio between the top and bottom earners on the campus. The St. Mary’s Wages plan would establish a benchmark minimum salary for the lowest-paid full-time employees that would rise with inflation. Tenure-track faculty members would make at least twice that benchmark. Different groups of workers (for example, associate professors, professional-staff members) would be guaranteed wages above specified fixed multiples of the lowest salary.
On the other end of the salary scale, no professor would be allowed to make more than four times the benchmark. Vice presidents would be capped at a factor of seven times, and the president’s total compensation package would never exceed 10 times the lowest worker’s pay.
Click on the link above to read the whole article.
For those of you following the impact of Howard Bunsis’ visit to Whittier’s Campus last May, here is a link to a Chronicle article about the varied responses to his work on other campuses:
WCAAUP is happy to announce its “Data and Trends” page. This is a clearing house for public information about the college from a variety of perspectives. We’ll be updating this data on a regular basis so keep checking back.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Thanks for making today’s meeting “Money Matters” such a success. WCAAUP is committed to having a productive and honest dialogue about the state of Whittier College and its future, which we think is bright.
We had multitude of constituents, from 27 different parts of the college, all of whom can participate in making Whittier a better and more rewarding place to work.
We’ll keep you informed about future releases of data as well as about opportunities to meet and discuss.
Thank you again,
Money Matters at Whittier College
Understanding Whittier College’s Finances
May 15th, 2014
9 – 10:30 am
Presented by Dr. Howard Bunsis
Chair, AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress
Howard Bunsis received his Ph.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, his J.D. from Fordham, and his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bunsis is also an acclaimed teacher and accomplished scholar. Using 990s, IPEDS, bond rating agencies, and other available documents,Professor Bunsis will provide a detailed analysis of Whittier College’s financial resources and operations in order to help. Whittier Employees (faculty, staff, and administration) and Trustees understand the college’s budget in the context of higher education.