The Akron chapter of the AAUP has been an advocate for faculty of The University of Akron for almost two decades.
In response to a growing perception that we had lost any meaningful rights to participate in the governance of our university, to being among the lowest paid faculty in the State of Ohio, and continuing threats to tenure and academic freedom, faculty voted March 12, 2003 overwhelmingly in favor of making the chapter our sole collective bargaining representative (See “Why I paid my union dues…” for one faculty member’s perspective).
In August of 2003 the university administration rescinded many University Rules and effectively silenced the faculty, removing us from any meaningful participatory role in governance. University rules had stated, for example, “the faculty member has a definite voice in establishing university rules, regulations, and procedures, and is obligated to use that voice whenever asked to do so or whenever the faculty member sees fit to do so.” This provision was eliminated without public discussion or faculty involvement. This was not a singular instance. (For a brief discussion of events, as well as both faculty and administration interpretations of UA Board actions, please see “Union In, Governance Out” in the October 10, 2003 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education.)
In December of 2005 a near-unanimous vote by 93% of eligible faculty approved our first collective bargaining agreement.
We are now in our fourth collective bargaining agreement with the administration.