Achieving Successful Results in Higher Education Through Collective Bargaining


This issue of volume six changes slightly our recent distribution among our three publication formats: for several years we have published two opinion pieces, two scholarly articles, and two practitioner perspectives. It is our good fortune with this issue to add a third article; however, there is no second practitioner piece.

That new structure—though maybe temporary—is reflected in the title of the first opinion piece from Richard Boris. Boris may be recognized by readers as the former executive director of the National Center, who contributed an opinion piece last year as he retired from that position. This year’s offering continues Boris’s vision as executive director in looking for ways for unions and management to work together.

From the experienced insider, the issue moves to a self-described inexperienced outsider, as former ACE fellow at Eastern Illinois University José Antonio Rosa describes his observations of the positive working environment culled from his year on a collective bargaining campus in “Collective Bargaining in Higher Education: Observations of an ACE Fellow.”

As the issue moves to articles, “the new” becomes a new perspective on faculty unionization as a means to quality. In an article that follows on his provocative presentation at the 2013 National Center Conference (published in our 2013 proceedings), Mark Cassell provides data on the impact of unionized faculty on universities – and that impact turns out to be positive.

The next article takes us in another “new” analysis as Curtis R. Sproul, Neil Bucklew and Jeffrey D. Houghton dig into the distribution of unionization in the higher education sector, comparing it with other industries and finds that higher education is currently the largest growth sector in unionization. Not surprisingly to those who follow such patterns, they document that our sector is growing where others are shrinking.

The third article, by co-editor Steve Hicks, takes a look at the negotiating environment for four large faculty unions in the first negotiations after the Recession and finds that there were changes made to the standard structure – all four unions went at least one year without an across-the-board increase and the size of other increases is worthy of remark.

In the closing practitioner piece, Amy Rosenberger provides perspective on that other big recent change—the Northwestern case. Rosenberger both analyzes the case of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) and connects it to the organizing of graduate students—an analogy from the Northwestern ruling—a subject of much study and discussion in our field.

We think this issue reflects the constant variety and ever-changing nature of our subject area. Also new to the Journal is implementation of a comment and interaction feature as well as a graphic display of download activity. We hope you enjoy these new ideas and features and gain some insights into higher education collective bargaining.





Academic Collective Bargaining: Patterns and Trends
Curtis R. Sproul, Neil Bucklew, and Jeffery D. Houghton

Practitioner Perspective