Non-tenure eligible faculty who teach at Northwestern University have filed for a union election on June 9 to join SEIU Local 73 as part of the regional and national Faculty Forward campaign to raise standards in higher education.
Northwestern faculty are continuing to build support while taking an important step towards a vote to join the 12,000 faculty from dozens of other colleges and universities who have joined SEIU in just the past three years, including the University of Chicago and Loyola University Chicago.
"I believe that joining the union is the only way to guarantee fairness and transparency for the ever growing number of non-tenure eligible faculty at Northwestern,” said Alessandra Visconti, a lecturer in Italian. “By coming together, we can have a voice on issues that affect us all."
The majority of the Northwestern University faculty are off the tenure track. This trend reflects a national crisis in higher education that has led to broad concern over issues like the marginalization of teaching, academic isolation and job stability that affects students.
Together, faculty from coast to coast are building support to form their union with SEIU, and creating a movement to address the crisis in higher education and the declining standards that endanger the profession. In addition to the University of Chicago and Loyola, faculty at several high-profile schools—including Duke University, Washington University St. Louis and the University of Southern California—have voted to form unions with SEIU/Faculty Forward in just the past 6 months.