Professor Manager

Colleen Flaherty:

Full-time faculty members at Ohio public institutions are objecting to proposed legislation with big implications for their right to organize unions. Tucked deep into a 3,090-page budget bill pending before the state’s House Finance Committee is language that would reclassify professors who participate in virtually anything other than teaching and research as supervisors or managers, and therefore exempt from collective bargaining. So serving on a committee, for example, turns a professor into a manager.

The language is nearly identical to another, ultimately failed piece of state-level legislation from four years ago, but faculty members consider the new bill a serious threat — and they’re warning legislators of the possible consequences of its success.

“What would happen if this passes, I think, is that faculty would choose simply not to do service and without that, universities would grind to a halt,” said John McNay, chair of the history department at the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash campus and president of the Ohio conference of the American Association of University Professors. “People ought to be aware t