“If we have a faculty union, our ‘stars’ will leave!”
It is unlikely that our star professors will leave if we form a union. Faculty leave UIUC for a range of reasons. In the last few years, many have taken early retirement out of fear of diminished retirement benefits. Other reasons include salaries that are lower than peer institutions, program cuts, surging workloads and rising class sizes, heavy service demands and repetitive program reviews. All UIUC faculty members know we are doing more with less, and the centralization of funding means we will be asked to do even more in the future.
The CFA Organizing committee is made up of many named chairs and other outstanding faculty who support collective bargaining on principle and precisely because they plan to stay and continue to build a world class university.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faces unprecedented challenges, and we need to protect educational quality. The answers are to be found in democratic deliberation with the people closest to teaching and research―the faculty―who deserve an equal place at the decision making table.