The authors provide a perspective, as scholars and practitioners, of the organizational, demographic, legal and contextual variables that inform the past and the future of faculty unions in US colleges and universities. They ask, how best to conceptualize and evaluate the impact of faculty unions; from the inception of academic unionization in the 1960's to the present, and further, what is known and not known about collective bargaining. Issues examined include: factors that influence negotiation processes, governance, bargaining dynamics, the institutional and demographic factors associated with faculties who vote in unions, compensation and the legal status of graduate student unions. Collective bargaining with faculty is viewed through a wider lens of "craft unionism" as it is known in the industrial labor relations context. An effort is made to review contemporary subjects and challenges engaging the parties during negotiations in 2012 and 2013. The paper offers an analysis of the impact of collective bargaining on changes in decision making processes and forums, and offers insight into the kinds of management strategies that are most effective in organized environments. Last, the authors ask what is new about negotiations and what has remained the same over the past 40 years.

Daniel J. Julius
Nicholas DiGiovanni, Jr.
Publication date: 
April 1, 2013
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)
ACADEMIC COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: On Campus Fifty Years by Daniel J. Julius & Nicholas DiGiovanni Jr CSHE.4.13 (April 2013)