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Arbitrator Sides with U of Akron on Faculty Layoffs

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tags: labor, academic job market, colleges and universities



On Friday, an arbitrator sided with the University of Akron in its termination of nearly 100 unionized full-time professors.

Some of the terminated faculty members had since chosen to retire, but the result means that the 67 who did not will not be able to return to their jobs. Full-time faculty were selected for termination regardless of rank or tenure, the faculty union has said.

The arbitration case concerned the university’s use of a force majeure clause in the union contract. This clause allowed the administration to make layoffs regardless of tenure or rank.

The administration argued that the coronavirus pandemic and financial implications for the university were “catastrophic circumstances” that allowed for the use of the clause.

The arbitrator ruled in favor of the university but also said fired faculty must have callback rights for three years and first right of refusal if a short-term or adjunct position opens up to replace them.

Read entire article at Inside Higher Ed

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