New research shows positive impact of faculty associations

Posted on in Education Delivery System – Volume 7, Issue 30 – Data Check
October 9, 2013.   Editor       

Faculty unionization has a positive impact on students and universities, according to a new American studyThe Impact of Unionization on University Performance: A Cross-Sectional Time Series Analysis, written by Mark Cassell, shows that unionization leads to a more efficient and effective institution, while promoting student success.

The paper’s primary findings include:

While it is not clear why  unionization promotes these outcomes, Cassell suggests that unionization has a “statistically significant impact on the budgetary mix between administration and instruction.” In other words, unionized faculty play a stronger role in the management of an institution, and tend to keep expenditures more focused on teaching and learning. Indeed, “unionized schools consistently devote a much higher proportion of their budget to instruction than non-unionized schools.”

This research concerns American universities, and care should be taken when generalizing these results to the Canadian context. However, findings of this sort are apt to make uncomfortable those who attempt to blame faculty for rising university costs.

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