Risa L. Lieberwitz

Navigating Troubled Waters at the NLRB

Since the US Supreme Court’s infamous NLRB v. Yeshiva University decision in 1980, faculty members at private colleges and universities have confronted major roadblocks to unionization. Yeshiva labels most tenure-track faculty as “managerial,” excluding them from the right to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Now, more than thirty years later, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has signaled its interest in opening greater possibilities for faculty unionization.

Lieberwitz to Serve as General Counsel

Risa L. Lieberwitz has been appointed to serve as AAUP general counsel for 2014–16. Lieberwitz is a professor of labor and employment law in the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she has been on the faculty since 1982. She is a member of the executive committee of the Worker Institute at Cornell and a co-director of the Cornell University Law and Society minor. From 1979 to 1982, she was an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in the regional office in Atlanta, Georgia.

Improving the Legal Landscape for Unionization at Private Colleges and Universities

University and college faculty have a long history of acting collectively. Countering the stereotype of the individual researcher in the lab, the centennial of the AAUP reminds us of the organizational origins of faculty rights of academic freedom and shared governance. Throughout these one hundred years, faculty have organized and acted collectively to protect these rights through faculty senates, college and university committees, AAUP advocacy chapters, and unionization and collective bargaining.

Legal Watch: Resistance in the ICE Age

Almost immediately after taking office, President Donald Trump began carrying out his preelection threats against immigrants. His administration has a dual-pronged strategy: creating broad bans on entry into the United States from certain Muslim-majority countries and escalating US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and deportations of undocumented persons residing in the United States. Both prongs severely affect individuals and families targeted by the administration on the basis of religion and ethnicity.

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