Collective Bargaining, Shared Governance, and Academic Freedom: Creating Policies for Full-Time, Non-Tenure-Track Faculty at the University of Delaware

By Gerald Turkel

Abstract:

Collective bargaining has combined with norms of academic freedom, shared governance, and administrative imperatives to provide favorable and secure conditions of employment for full-time, non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Delaware from the early 1990s to the present. This essay analyzes relations among union activists; full-time, non-tenure-track faculty; faculty senate leaders; and administrators in developing policies and procedures that define the working conditions of non-tenure-track faculty, and it describes key events that resulted in these policies. The interplay of union powers, academic freedom principles, professional norms in the faculty senate, and actions by administrators combined to establish policies that provide significant academic freedom protections and employment security for full-time, non-tenure track faculty members. The policies resulted from faculty members exercising academic freedom and contributed to the expansion of academic freedom, especially for full-time, non-tenure track faculty members.

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