AAUP Submits Brief on Behalf of USC Faculty

The AAUP submitted an amicus brief December 28 to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit urging the Court to uphold the National Labor Relation Board’s determination that non-tenure-track faculty at USC are not managerial employees and are therefore eligible to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act. This case arose when the SEIU filed a petition to represent non-tenure-track full-time and part-time faculty in two colleges within USC. USC objected to the petition arguing that the faculty were managers according to the precedent of the US Supreme Court's 1980 ruling in NLRB v. Yeshiva University. The Board concluded that USC had not proven that non-tenure-track faculty actually exercise control or make effective recommendations about policies that affect the university as a whole.

The AAUP's amicus brief supports the legal framework established by NLRB's 2014 decision in Pacific Lutheran University, which expanded the organizing rights of private-sector faculty. The brief describes in detail the significant changes that have taken place in the decades since Yeshiva as universities have adopted corporate models of decision-making and employment relations. The reduction in faculty authority in university policy-making, along with the increasing reliance on non-tenure-track faculty rather than tenured and tenure-track positions, undermines universities' claims that faculty are managerial. 

In supporting the collective bargaining rights of USC non-tenure-track faculty, the AAUP brief challenges the "paper authority" universities attribute to faculty they deem managerial without granting them actual authority in university policy-making. Learn more about the amicus brief. 


Publication Date: 
Tuesday, January 9, 2018