Professor Daniel Hall is a member of the Department of Justice and Community Studies and an Affiliate Professor in the Departments of Political Science and Global and Intercultural Studies at Miami University. He delivered this speech at the Board of Trustees public meeting on March 3, 2023.
Good morning. I am Daniel Hall, professor of justice and community studies and political science. This is my twentieth year at Miami.
I am here to ask the Board to consider permitting the faculty’s vote for unionization to proceed, and to do so with the proposed membership.
I speak from my experience not only at Miami, but from the two universities where I was tenured
before, the University of Toledo and the University of Central Florida. At UCF, I was a member of the
faculty unit, and as an administrator at UT, I was outside of the unit. As a faculty member and
administrator, I found unionization beneficial. The clear standards, expectations, and processes that
resulted from collective bargaining reduced the ambiguity, anxiety, and apparent inequity that I too
often witness at Miami.
As a professor, attorney, and civil libertarian, my greatest reason for supporting unionization is to see
improvements in due process, in all of its forms. Presently, faculty morale is the lowest I have ever
witnessed, at any university, in my 33 years in higher education. A lack of transparency, unfair processes, and draconian rules and disciplinary procedures are contributors to this problem. These
concerns were far less present at my former institutions, where their collective bargaining agreements detailed the process, rights, and – the responsibilities - of faculty.
As to the recommended membership of the unit, I humbly disagree with the suggestion that TCPLs and TT faculty are too dissimilar to be represented by the same union. I am in a small department. There are six of us, full-time; two TCPLs and four tenured. I invite any of you to join us in a faculty meeting, or in one of the many informal meetings we have weekly. You would quickly see that our discussions of advising, teaching, committee work, and how to engage with our community partners create a single, cohesive community of interest. Yes, four of us are also engaged in research. But that doesn’t define us as a department; nor does it separate us. Day-to-day, we operate as a team. The decision to separate us into different bargaining units would drive a wedge between us that could reduce our collegiality and quite possibly, our productivity.
The great majority of faculty are motivated by their love of teaching, mentoring, and research.
Unionization will not impact that reality.
The faculty have spoken. We want to unionize and we want tenure-track faculty, TCPLs, and librarians to be in a single unit. The University’s unwillingness to respect to the will of its faculty is only adding fuel to the fire of discontent. Please act now to recognize the proposed unit.
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