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ERIC Number: EJ882007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1066-8926
Reconcilable Differences: Conflict and Collegiality in a Unionized Community College Environment
Hartley, Matthew
Community College Journal of Research and Practice, v34 n4 p318-336 2010
Faculty unions are a prominent, though a comparatively recent, feature of American higher education. Today, a vast majority of community colleges have a unionized faculty. A number of researchers in the 1970s speculated that the presence of unions signaled the end of collegial shared governance and that interactions between administrators and unions would become increasingly adversarial. Subsequent experience suggests that the dire predictions were overblown. However, little institution-level research has been done to understand how unionization has affected academic governance. This study examines the governance system at a large, urban community college. The findings indicate that though at times relations are contentious, there are levels of conflict. Further there are a number of factors that tend to mitigate conflict and allow for collegial decision making. These include utilizing personal ties between members of the administration and the union, sharing data openly and also working together to collectively make sense of "the facts" before discussing possible resolutions to the presenting issue, and establishing an institutional norm that values finding solutions rather than scoring political points. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A