Inside Higher Ed
by Colleen Flaherty
April 27, 2021
Oregon Institute of Technology’s faculty union went on strike Monday, saying it seeks to preserve the university’s traditions of shared governance, small class sizes and hands-on instruction. The union, which is affiliated with the American Association of University Professors, traces its concerns about the future of the institution to the arrival of Oregon Tech president Nagi Naganathan in 2018.
Mark Clark, professor of history, said during a virtual picket line event Monday that unionization was not a popular idea prior to 2018, as the university's Faculty Senate historically advocated for professors. Yet “within a year of our new president arriving, people's opinions changed,” Clark said. “They saw how the administration was treating faculty, no longer, as they say, in a collaborative way, but more in a more dictatorial way. And so we unionized -- and the reason we unionized was really to protect what makes Oregon Tech great, and that is the faculty who interact with our students. We need to be able to attract and keep talented people who can give our students that education.”