Equity Innovation Award for Oregon Union

By Ezra Deutsch-Feldman

The University of Oregon administration has awarded the institution’s faculty union the UO Equity Innovation Award in recognition of the union’s effort to incorporate standards of inclusion into its recent contract. The union, United Academics, is affiliated jointly with the AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers. Under the new contract, the tenure and promotions process will include consideration of faculty work to improve equity and inclusion on campus. The change will apply both to tenure-track faculty members seeking tenure or promotion and to non-tenure-track faculty members seeking promotion. 

Yvonne Braun, a professor in the women’s and gender studies department and the international studies department and a member of the United Academics bargaining team, accepted the award on behalf of the union. In her acceptance speech, she said, “Our hope as faculty and as members of United Academics is that this will encourage all members of our university community to consider how we all share the responsibilities, the opportunities, and the benefits of building a more equitable and inclusive institution.” 

The award, described as the first of its kind in higher education, was presented by the Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion at the university’s Martin Luther King awards ceremony in January.