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National Center Events

Register Now (Early Bird Special) for the National Center's 51st Annual Conference: New York City, March 17-19, 2024

The National Center's 51st annual national conference will take place on March 17-19, 2024 in New York City. The conference will be held at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and at the CUNY Graduate Center.

The theme of the conference will be New Crossroads in Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations in Higher Education and the Professions.

Click here to register.

Click here for the Preliminary Conference Program.

Below is a list of confirmed panels and panelists. Additional panelists will be announced in future newsletters and on our website.

Keynote Presentation: Thomas A. Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management, Emeritus, MIT Sloan School of Management.

Thomas A. Kochan is the Post-Tenure George Maverick Bunker Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a faculty member in the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research. Kochan focuses on the need to update America's work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the need for a new social contract at work, one that anticipates and engages current and future technological changes in ways that build a more inclusive economy and broadly shared prosperity. Through empirical research, he demonstrates that fundamental changes in the quality of employee and labor‚Äźmanagement relations are needed to address America's critical problems in industries ranging from healthcare to airlines to manufacturing. His most recent book is Shaping the Future of Work: A Handbook for Action and a New Social Contract (Routledge, 2021). He is a member of the National Academy of Human Resources, the National Academy of Arbitrators, and past president of the International Industrial Relations Association and the Industrial Relations Research Association. Currently he is member of the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future. Kochan holds a BBA in personnel management as well as an MS and a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin‚Äč.

The Keynote Speaker will be introduced by: Adrienne Eaton, Dean, Office of the Dean and Distinguished Professor, Labor Studies and Employment Relations (LSER), Rutgers University.

Panel: Higher Education Leadership in Challenging Times: The Year Ahead with Ann Kirschner, Interim President, Hunter College, CUNY, Daniel Greenstein, Chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Catherine Bond Hill, Managing Director, Ithaka S+R, and former President, Vassar College, and Frederick P. Schaffer, former General Counsel, CUNY, Moderator.

Panel: Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decisions: Impact on DEI in Higher Education Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining
with Kapil Longani, SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Channing Cooper, AFT Legal Department Deputy Director, J. Brian Charles, Senior Reporter, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Angela Thompson, Member, Administrative Review Board, United States Department of Labor, Moderator.

Panel: Navigating Generative AI in Higher Education: Implications for Collective Bargaining, Pedagogy, and Research
with Kyle Arnone, AFT Collective Bargaining Center, Anthony G. Picciano, Professor, Hunter College, School of Education and CUNY Graduate Center, and Rob Weill, AFT Director of Policy, Research and Field Services, Panelist and Moderator.

Panel: The First Amendment and the Erosion of Managerial Authority
with Martin Malin, Professor Emeritus at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Monica C. Barrett, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, and Rachel Paster, NYSUT, Commentators, and John Wirenius, Chairperson, New York State Public Employment Relations Board, Moderator.

Panel: Collaborating Across the Table: The Value of Labor-ManagementCooperation in Reversing Contingency
with Carla Katz, NTT Faculty, Bargaining Team Member, Rutgers University, Kim O’Halloran, VP of Academic Planning & Administration, Bargaining Team Member, Rutgers University, Heather Pierce, Adjunct Faculty, Bargaining Team Member, Rutgers University, and Melissa Sortman, Director of Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs, Michigan State University, Moderator.

Panel: Addressing Institutional Betrayal at the Table: Tackling Harassment and Title IX Issues Through Collective Bargaining
with Risa Lieberwitz, Professor of Labor and Employment Law in the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and AAUP General Counsel, Karen R. Stubaus, National Center Affiliated Researcher, and former Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rutgers University, Alexandra Matish, Associate Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs and Senior Director, Academic Human Resources, University of Michigan, Cora Bergantiños-Crespo, UAW 4100 President - Columbia University, and Paula E. Burke, Senior Associate, Huron Consulting Group, Moderator.

Facilitated Session: Bargaining Over Job Security for Contingent Faculty
with Benjamin Superfine, Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Relations, University of Illinois-Chicago and Mia McIver, Lecturer, UCLA; President, CFT Universities Council; former President and Lead Negotiator, UC-AFT Local 1474, Facilitators, and Theodore H. Curry, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Michigan State University, Moderator.

Book Discussion: Contingent Faculty and the Remaking of Higher Education: A Labor History
with Gwendolyn Alker, Associate Arts Professor, Department of Drama, New York University, Joe T. Berry, City College of San Francisco and University of Illinois (retired), COCAL, HELU, Anne McLeer, Director of Higher Education and Strategic Planning, SEIU Local 500, Gary Rhoades, Professor and Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona, and Eric Fure-Slocum, Associate Professor of History (Emeritus), co-editor, Contingent Faculty and the Remaking of Higher Education, Moderator.

Panel: Best Practices in Collective Negotiations
with Pamela Silverblatt, Senior Counsel, Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, Joseph P. McConnell, Partner, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, Frederick Floss, Professor, Economics and Finance, and Co-Director, Center for Economic Education, SUNY Buffalo State University, Elizabeth Vignaux, Labor Relations Specialist, NYSUT, and Scott M. Sommer, Commissioner, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Moderator.

Panel: Best Practices in Arbitration
with Homer LaRue, Labor Arbitrator, Mediator, and Professor, Howard University Law School, Marlene Gold, Labor Arbitrator, Mark Gaston Pearce, Labor Arbitrator, Visiting Professor and Executive Director, Workers’ Rights Institute, Georgetown University Law School, and Katie Rosen, Labor Arbitrator. Co-sponsored by the National Academy of Arbitrators.

Facilitated Session: Practices to Cultivate Calm and Resilience for Labor & Management Professionals
with Monique Schubert, Adjunct Lecturer, Bronx Community College and Lili Palacios-Baldwin, Deputy General Counsel for Labor, Employment and Dispute Resolution, Tufts University.

Panel: Annual Legal Update (CLE)
with Henry Morris, Jr., ArentFox Schiff, LLP, Amy L. Rosenberger, Willig, Williams & Davidson, Aaron Nisenson, Senior Legal Counsel, AAUP, Brian Selchick, Cullen and Dykman LLP, and Jessica Alvarez, Acting General Counsel, Hunter College, CUNY, Moderator.

Panel: Enrollment and Degree Attainment in the United States: Patterns in States
with and without Collective Bargaining with Nathaniel J. Bray, Professor, Program Coordinator, Higher Education Administration, Associate Director, Education Policy Center, University of Alabama, Senior Fellow, College Promise, Noel Keeney, Research Associate, Education Policy Center, University of Alabama, F. King Alexander, Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University, Senior Faculty Fellow, Education Policy Center, University of Alabama, Faculty Affiliate, Cornell University, and Higher Education Research Institute Senior Fellow, College Promise, and Stephen G. Katsinas, Professor, Higher Education Administration & Political Science, Director, Education Policy Center, University of Alabama, Senior Fellow, College Promise, Moderator.

Panel: Graduate Student Representation Election Outcomes, 2020-2023: Navigating a New Era of Graduate Student Unionization
with Jacob Apkarian, Associate Professor, Sociology, York College, CUNY, Joseph van der Naald, PhD Candidate in Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY, Gary Rhoades, Professor and Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona, Commentator, Nicholas DiGiovanni, Partner, Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, Commentator, and Kathy Collins, Director, Huron Consulting Group, Moderator.

Facilitated Session: A New Wave of Undergraduate Student Unionization in Higher Education
with Cory McCartan, founder, Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers; former bargaining committee member, HGSU-UAW L. 5118 and Joseph Jelincic, Assistant Vice Chancellor in Collective Bargaining at the California State University, Facilitators, and Dylan Belknap-Lerner, Labor Advocate, AFSCME, Moderator.

Book Discussion: The Costs of Completion: Student Success in Community College
with Robin G. Isserles, Author, The Costs of Completion: Student Success in Community College, Professor of Sociology, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, and Grievance Counselor for Full-time Faculty, PSC BMCC Chapter, Christine Mangino, President, Queensborough Community College, CUNY, James McKeever, Sociology, Los Angeles Pierce College, CA, AFT 1521 Faculty Guild President, Brian Kapitulik, Sociology, Greenfield Community College, MA, Department Chair, Social Sciences; Former Acting Dean of Faculty, Colena Sesanker, Associate Professor, Philosophy, Gateway Community College, CT, Member of Board of Regents of CSCU, and Jennifer Shanoski, Chemistry, Merritt College, Oakland California, Moderator.

Panel: Academic Union Responses to Vaccine Mandates at Higher Education Institutions in Canada and the United States
with Alison Braley-Rattai, Associate Professor, Department of Labour Studies, Brock University, Larry Savage, Professor, Department of Labour Studies, Brock University, Jean Grassman, Associate Professor, Environmental, Occupational, and Geospatial Health Sciences, CUNY School of Public Health, Kara Laskowski, Professor and Chair, Communication Studies, Shippensburg University and State APSCUF Meet and Discuss Chair, and Ellie Barbarash, CPEA, AFSCME Senior Health and Safety Advocate, Moderator.

Panel: Trustees’ Perspectives on Collective Bargaining
with Susan Solomon, City College of San Francisco Trustee, Mark Gaffney, Wayne State University Board of Governors, Paul Brown, University of Michigan Board of Regents, and Kenneth M. Mash, President, APSCUF, Moderator.

Panel: Bargaining Issues For Classified, Clerical, and Other Campus Staff
with Sarah Wofford, AFT Vice President, Oregon School Employees Association,, Christine O'Connell, President, Union of Rutgers Administrators AFT Local 1766, Rainah Chambliss, Co-President of the Faculty and Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia, and Andre’ Poplar, Vice Chancellor – Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice, Oakland Community College – District, Moderator.

Panel: Collective Bargaining Concerning Library Personnel in Higher Education
with Meredith Kahn, LEO AFT-MI 6244, Campus Chair, Galleries, Librarians, Archivists and Museums (GLAM) and Librarian for Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Kelly McElroy, United Academics of Oregon State, AAUP/AFT Local 9609, Adriene Lim, Dean of Libraries; Professor of the Practice, College of Information Studies, Dean's Office, University of Maryland - College Park, Consuella Askew, Vice President for University Libraries and University Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries, and Ahsan Ali, Director of Labor Relations, Tufts University, Moderator.

Panel: Resident and Fellow Unionization: Lessons from State Medical Schools
with Banks Evans, Assistant Vice President, Labor Relations, University of Washington, Cindy Hamra, JD, MA, Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education, University of Washington School of Medicine, Wade Baughman, Associate Director of Labor Relations, University of Michigan, Commentator, David Dashefsky, Director of Strategic Campaigns, CIR-SEIU Healthcare, Commentator, Michael Kelly,Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, Commentator, and Sara Slinn, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Moderator.  

Panel: Collective Bargaining and Museums
with Amanda Tobin Ripley, Graduate Teaching Associate, Ohio State, Maida Rosenstein, Director of Organizing, Technical, Office and Professional Union, Local 2110 UAW, Trish Jeffers, Deputy Director, Human Resources, Guggenheim Museum, Halcyone Schiller, President, Local 397, AFSCME DC47, and Michael Loconto, Labor Arbitrator, Loconto ADR, Moderator.

Panel: Labor Justice and Labor Studies in Higher Education
with Joy Blanchard, Associate Professor, Lutrill and Pearl Payne School of Education, Louisiana State University, Jordan Harper, Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs, Morgan State University, Ananya Malik, doctoral student, Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia, Letitia F. Silas, Labor and Employment Attorney and Consultant, Commentator, Calvin John Smiley, Associate Professor, Sociology Hunter College, Commentator, and Adrienne Eaton, Dean, Office of the Dean and Distinguished Professor, Labor Studies and Employment Relations (LSER), Rutgers University, Moderator.

Book Discussion: The Right to Learn: Resisting the Right-Wing Attack on Academic Freedom
with Jennifer Ruth, Professor of Film, College of the Arts, Portland State University, Ellen Schrecker, Professor of History, retired, Yeshiva University, Helena Worthen, labor educator, retired, University of Illinois, School of Labor and Employment Relations, and Charles Toombs, Professor of Africana Studies, San Diego State University; President, California Faculty Association, Moderator.

Book Discussion: Unionizing the Ivory Tower: Cornell Workers' Fifteen-Year Fight for Justice and a Living Wage
with Al Davidoff, Organizational and Leadership Development Director, Solidarity Center, author, Unionizing the Ivory Tower: Cornell Workers' Fifteen-Year Fight for Justice and a Living Wage, Carlos Aramayo, President, UNITE HERE Local 26, Commentator, Carrie Barbash, President, Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, Commentator, and Scott Phillipson, Chair of Higher Ed Council, SEIU, Moderator.

51st Annual National Conference Sponsors

Become a Conference Sponsor or Program Advertiser to Celebrate Our 51st Annual Conference and Support Our Research

To help celebrate the National Center’s 51st annual conference, we encourage higher education institutions, unions, law firms, and companies to become a sponsor of our 2024 annual conference.

Through a conference sponsorship you will demonstrate support for the National Center’s continuing labor-management mission and research agenda. To access the sponsorship rate sheet click here.

Another important way to celebrate the National Center’s 51st annual conference and demonstrate support for our mission and research is for your institution, union, law firm, organization or company to place an advertisement in the conference program. To access the ad order form, click here.

Please email us with any questions at:;

National Center Book Corner: A Title that Inspired a 2024 Panel

Description: In the United States today, almost three-quarters of those teaching in colleges and universities are employed as contingent faculty. These precarious academic workers—ranging from course-by-course adjuncts to long-term contingent faculty to graduate student workers—share the worries and uncertainties that plague other workers in today’s gig economy, including little to no job security, few if any health care benefits, insufficient retirement savings, and diminished professional status. Contingent faculty have responded to precarity with a range of actions—raising their voices to influence departmental and campus practices, steering professional organizations to recognize their plight, and organizing faculty unions to bargain collectively. This volume analyzes the use of collective bargaining as a means of workplace democracy and the public good of higher education.

Contributors: Gwendolyn Alker, Diane Angell, Joe Berry, Sue Doe, Eric Fure-Slocum, Claire Goldstene, Trevor Griffey, Erin Hatton, William A. Herbert, Elizabeth Hohl, Miguel Juárez, Aimee Loiselle, Maria Maisto, Anne McLeer, Steven Parfitt, Jiyoon Park, Claire Raymond, Gary Rhoades, Jeff Schuhrke, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Steven Shulman, Joseph van der Naald, Anne Wiegard, Naomi R Williams, and Helena Worthen.

The 2024 panel is entitled, Book Discussion: Contingent Faculty and the Remaking of Higher Education: A Labor History. The panelists will be Gwendolyn Alker, Associate Arts Professor, Department of Drama, New York University, Joe T. Berry, Ph.D., City College of San Francisco and University of Illinois (retired), COCAL, HELU, Anne McLeer, Director of Higher Education and Strategic Planning, SEIU Local 500, Joseph van der Naald, PhD Candidate in Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY, and Eric Fure-Slocum, Associate Professor of History (Emeritus), co-editor of Contingent Faculty and the Remaking of Higher Education, Moderator.

The book is available through the University of Illinois Press. Use Promo Code F23UIP for 30% discount.

Regional Higher Education Collective Bargaining Workshop at the University of Illinois-Chicago: A Major Success

On September 14 and 15, 2023, the National Center held a regional higher education collective bargaining workshop at the University of Illinois-Chicago. The regional conference was co-sponsored by the University of Illinois System, and the University of Illinois School of Labor & Employment Relations’ Labor Education Program.

The sold-out workshop included over 100 attendees and speakers from Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and California.

This was the third regional workshop organized by the National Center since 2013, with the last two being held in California. It is part our effort to revive the tradition of holding regional programming similar to the events the National Center sponsored in earlier decades.
The workshop program at the University of Illinois-Chicago included facilitated sessions on specific collective bargaining issues as well as traditional panel discussions on collective bargaining, community colleges, academic freedom and free speech rights on campus, affirmative action and discrimination, best practices in arbitration, and legal obligations under public sector collective bargaining laws and the National Labor Relations Act. The conference keynote speaker was Sameer Gadkaree, President, The Institute of College Access and Success.

Click here for the workshop website and here for the conference materials.
Best Practices in Collective Bargaining
with (l-r) Diana Valera, President
CFA/IFT, Columbia College, Mark Bennett,
Laner Muchin, Marcia Mackey, Michigan
Education Association (moderator),
Melissa Sortman, Assistant Provost and Director, Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs, Michigan State University, and Elizabeth Towell, SEIU Local 73
Best Practices in Collective Bargaining Panel with (l-r) Stephen Yokich, Bloch, Bennett, Cervone, Auerbach & Yokich, LLP, Robb Craddock, Labor and Employee Relations Executive Director, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Mike Newman, Deputy Director, AFSCME Council 31, Richard W. Fanning, Jr, Clark Hill, PLC, and Terry Curry, former Associate Provost and Associate Vice President, Michigan State University (moderator) Collective Bargaining, Discrimation, Affirmative Action & Title IX Panel with (l-r) Ricky Baldwin, Assistant Director, State Division, SEIU Local 73, Risa Lieberwitz, Professor of Labor and Employment, Cornell ILR and AAUP General Counsel, Augustus Wood, Assistant Professor, School of Labor & Employment Relations, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Julie Miceli, Husch Blackwell, and Karen Stubaus, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rutgers University and National Center Affiliated Researcher (moderator)

Legal Obligations under Public Sector
Statutes and NLRA Panel
with (l-r)
Richard W. Fanning, Jr., Clark Hill, PLC,
Ellen Strizak, General Counsel, Illinois
Educational Labor Relations Board, Angie
Cowan Hamada, National Labor Relations Board Region 13 Director, and Alice Johnson, General Counsel Cook College Teachers
Union (moderator)
Community Colleges: Distinct Bargaining
Issues and Challenges Panel
with (l-r)
Robert Boonin, Dykema, PLLC, Tony Johnston, Cook County Teachers Union, Local 1600 President, Andre' L. Poplar, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Oakland Community College, Shannon Altson, Director of Business, Legal & Human Resources, Michigan Edcuation Association, and Joshua Walker, Dean of Business and Institutional Effectiveness, John Wood Community College (moderator)
10 Best Practice Tips from Experienced Labor Arbitrators with (l-r) Meeta Bass, Arbitrator, Cary Morgen, Arbitrator, and Betty Widgeon, Arbitrator, (moderator and panelist)