The Power of Two: Leveraging Academic Senates and Faculty Unions

A recent blog post by Professor of Asian Studies, Teri Yamada, takes on questions about the compatibility of faculty senates and unions. She presents a concise argument that faculty unions and senates, maintaining their autonomy, yet working together, offer a strong defense against authoritarian administrations that seek to enact austerity measures that severely compromise the educational mission of their institutions.

What kind of austerity measures are there to defend against? Yamada quotes a colleague from Central Connecticut State University, where a new Board of Regents solicited a private consulting company for policy recommendations that resulted in calls for “increase student-faculty ratios, use more part-time faculty, reduce expenditures on all non-instructional activities, and ‘disaggregate instruction,’ by using less ‘skilled labor’ to grade and proctor and by using standardized course designs.”

Combatting such recommendations should be something most of our faculty senators and union representatives can agree on.