January 2011 Issue
December 19, 2010

Reports: a closer look

Source: NYSUT United

"The Causal Effect of Faculty Unions on Institutional Decision-Making" (Nov. 2010)

Authors: Stephen R. Porter and Clinton M. Stephens of Iowa State University

Key findings: A new study of 341 public universities has found that unionization of higher education academic workers "greatly increases faculty influence" over important aspects of their working lives: faculty salary scales, individual faculty salaries, and the appointments of academic department heads and members of college committees.

The study showed that unionization gave college faculty members more say over their institution's curriculum and faculty teaching loads, but did not have a significant impact on the appointment of faculty members, tenure decisions or policies dealing with degree requirements.

The research paper was based on a survey of four-year college presidents and faculty senate leaders, who were asked to describe the extent of faculty participation in 15 different areas.

With colleges nationwide hit hard by state budget cuts, Porter said he expects an increased call for unionization at large public universities. For more, go to www.news.iastate.edu/news/2010/nov/unions

NYSUT's perspective: NYSUT represents faculty members at SUNY, CUNY, community colleges and private colleges. The study offers credible academic research to back up the union's view that unionization empowers faculty to influence important aspects of their working lives.