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Faculty Forum Papers

"April 1976 - In Union There Is ---?" By

Jesse F. Bone
Veterinary Medicine

March 16, 1976

     I became increasingly apprehensive over the possibility of unionization of the academy. Everything I read indicates that academicians will be trading in a great deal of valuable intangibles for a mess of promised pottage.
     The latest of these indications that valuable intangibles will be lost is outlined in the recent OSEA letter concerning the selection of a new president for OCE. Faculty involvement in the selection of presidents, and - by extension - the selection of chairmen and heads of departments, and deans of schools will be abolished under unionization. The divorcement of faculty and administration into adversary groups will be complete.
     As it is, without unionization, the divorcement of the chancellor's office into an adversary group vis a vis the faculty of the state system of higher education has already occurred. Unionization would simply complete the process. In practical effect it would place the Union (faculty) on one side of the bargaining table and the Chancellor's Office (administration) on the other. Note that the privileges and perquisites of both faculty and administration would be absorbed by the Union and the Chancellor's Office. The end result would be that neither faculty nor administration would exercises any effective control of their destiny, and that two essentially outside groups would determine the working conditions, performance standards, and qualifications of everyone in higher education.
     Since it has already been amply demonstrated that absentee overloads seldom realize or recognize that needs and wants of their serfs and subordinates, it is hardly necessary to belabor the point that if we opt for an adversary relationship, we are in effect promoting our own destruction in everything except possible financial gain.
     And if you don't believe me, let me give these quotes from the OSEA letter (emphasis mine):

     "The Chancellor wondered whether the usual involvement of OCE faculty members should be continued in this matter (e.g. the selection of a new president) since that faculty……had "opted for collective bargaining."

..."the present instance may afford the opportunity for further limitation of the rights and privileges which have already suffered significant erosion over the past five years"...

     "But until collective bargaining comes to Oregon campuses, faculty members, organizations, and governance bodies will have to be vigilant that - as a minimum…..traditional faculty rights are not abridged."

Can you see where this is leading? The road is plain, primrose bordered, and paved with good intentions.