Faculty Democracy

Faculty Democracy is a broad-based association of NYU faculty dedicated to bringing transparency and accountability to decision making at the university.

One of their first acts has been to come out in support of the striking graduate students. In this statement in support of GSOC, they emphasize the importance of graduate student’s right to express their opinions:

Regardless of our individual opinion about unionization for graduate assistants, we (the undersigned NYU faculty members), believe that in order to protect academic freedom and to maintain an open and collegial atmosphere at the university, graduate students should be free to express and follow their beliefs about unionization without any fear of reprisals. At a time when this institution is under heightened public scrutiny, it is all the more important to preserve this enviable tradition of freedom at NYU.

I counted fourteen anthropology professors among the over two hundred signatures.

Faculty Democracy have also posted this letter to NYU’s undergraduates responding to comments by the school president:

we think it is important for you to know that ultimately, the disruptions in your education that might occur in the next few weeks are not the fault of the graduate student union. GSOC repeatedly indicated its willingness to meet and negotiate with the Administration until the very last minute. The rights of the graduate students to organize, and to strike if necessary, are an ethical matter not a financial one. Indeed, if we are going to talk money, it should be noted that the Administration employed high-priced lawyers to fight the unionization effort. Its decision not to bargain with a legally recognized union, overruling the objections of faculty, has no doubt generated astronomical legal costs. We believe, and we hope you do too, that the university’s financial priorities should not include the disenfranchisement and intimidation of its teachers.

For those of you attending the AAA, there will be an AAA Public Policy Forum on “Organized Labor”, organized by Paul Durrenberger, with Neal Kwatra, Sheldon Friedman (no relation), Robert O’Brien, and Suzan Erem. I imagine the NYU situation will be one of the topics under discussion. It is currently scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, at 10:15 am.

Elsewhere on the web (to be updated):