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2020 Webinars


Between May and August 2020, the National Center hosted a series of webinars. Below are links to six of those webinars and related materials:

Labor and Employment Legal Issues Resulting from the Pandemic
with Henry Morris Jr., Partner, Arent Fox LLP, Aaron Nisenson, Senior Legal Counsel, Christian Gobel, and William A. Herbert, National Center, Hunter College, CUNY, Moderator. The webinar was held on August 20, 2020.

Description:
This webinar was the National Center’s annual legal update panel, which examined issues and cases over the past year including legal subjects related to the pandemic.

Reading Materials:


Presentation by Henry Morris, Partner, Arent Fox LLP.

Legal Update Paper by Aaron Nisenson, Senior Legal Counsel, AAUP.

Presentation by Christian Gobel, SEIU Law Fellow.

The Future of Privatization in Higher Education: Post-Pandemic with Rima Brusi, Distinguished Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, and Writer in Residence at the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Lehman College, CUNY, Shahrzad Habibi, Research and Policy Director, In the Public Interest, Robert Shireman, Director of Higher Education Excellence and a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation and William A. Herbert, National Center, Hunter College, CUNY, Moderator. The webinar was held on June 25, 2020.

Description: This webinar examined the future of privatization in higher education following the devastation caused by COVID-19. The speakers examined the privatization and resistance at the University of Puerto Rico, the challenges to privatization at California State University, the use of public-private partnerships on campus, and the renewed federal promotion of the for-profit higher education industry. The panel was organized in conjunction with the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, CUNY and In the Public Interest, a research and policy center on privatization.

Collective Bargaining and Online Technologies in the Age of a Pandemic with Joseph McConnell, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, Cynthia Eaton, Secretary, Faculty Association, Suffolk County Community College, Gary Rhoades, Professor of Higher Education, University of Arizona, and Co-Editor, Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy, Ellen Grachek, University of Michigan, Molly Brookfield, University of Michigan/GEO, and William A. Herbert, National Center, Hunter College, CUNY, Moderator. The webinar was held on June 18, 2020.

Description: This webinar included presentations by the three panelists who examined collective bargaining and online technologies, which was followed by Q & A, and information sharing about bargaining issues and experiences from around the country. The following are some of the issues that were discussed during the webinar: the use of online technology for the conduct of bargaining; specific negotiation topics related to online learning during the pandemic; how collective bargaining can alleviate the negative consequences of the digital and economic divide in our communities; and how the expansion of online teaching in higher education might impact the shape of collective bargaining. The panel was organized in conjunction with the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, CUNY.

The Gig Academy and COVID-19: Implications for the Future with Adrianna Kezar, Endowed Professor and Dean's Professor of Leadership, USC, Director of the Pullias Center, and Director Delphi Project, Daniel Greenstein, Chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Henry Reichman, Chair, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, AAUP, Maria Maisto, New Faculty Majority, and William A. Herbert, National Center, Hunter College, CUNY, Moderator. The webinar was held on June 9, 2020.

Description: In a recently published book, The Gig Academy: Mapping Labor in the Neoliberal University, Adrianna Kezar and her co-authors describe and critique the restructuring of labor relations in higher education over the past few decades that included a massive increase in precarious employment in the form of contingent faculty positions, post-doctoral appointments, and the use of graduate assistants for teaching and research. Today, non-tenure track faculty make up 70% of college instructors nationwide. During this webinar, the panel discussed the book's insights and recommendations as well as their relevance for post-pandemic colleges and universities.The panel was organized in conjunction with the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, CUNY.

Online Learning: Policies, Practices, and its Future in the Face of COVID-19 with Stephanie Hall, Fellow, The Century Foundation, Anthony G. Picciano Professor, Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center, School of Education, Di Xu, Associate Professor University of California Irvine, and William A. Herbert, National Center, Hunter College, CUNY, Moderator. The webinar was held on May 19, 2020.

Description: Over the past two decades, the prevalence of online learning in U.S. colleges and universities has grown considerably. University administrators, educators, and students have regarded this form of education with both excitement and suspicion. Distance learning holds the promise of greater educational inclusion and increased revenue generation for higher education institutions, yet has been the subject of critiques by its various stakeholders. This panel provided a multifaceted examination of online learning from three distinct, yet interrelated perspectives. Di Xu reviewed existing research on the impact of online learning on access and student performance in U.S. higher education, and discussed instances where online educational programs have been most successfully implemented. Stephanie Hall examined the theoretical and policy implications of online degree programs, using the results of a Century Foundation analysis of university contracts with for-profit online program managers. Last, Anthony Picciano discussed both the implications of online learning on faculty, with a focus on collective bargaining, professional identity, and university administration, and concluded the panel discussion with an exploration of how future technological innovations in online education may redefine the professional roles of tomorrow’s teachers, administrators, and researchers. This panel was organized in conjunction with the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, CUNY.

Higher Ed Collective Bargaining and Shared Governance in Responding to COVID-19 with Theodore H. (Terry) Curry, Michigan State University, Risa L. Lieberwitz, Cornell University ILR and AAUP, Jamie Dangler, UUP, Rebecca Givan, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, Dale Kapla, Northern Michigan University, Julie Schmid, AAUP, and Michael Eagen, UMass Amherst, and William A. Herbert, National Center, Hunter College, CUNY, Presenter and Moderator. The webinar was held on May 14, 2020.

Description: This labor-management panel examined the role of collective bargaining and shared governance in resolving the many serious higher education labor relations, policy, and legal issues that have arisen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists provided an overview of collective bargaining and shared governance along with examples of their use and non-use on campuses around the country since the pandemic began. The panel was organized in conjunction with the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, CUNY, and the Labor and Employment Relations Association's Higher Education Industry Council.