First Advisor

Patricia Schechter

Term of Graduation

Fall 2003

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






Portland State University -- History, American Association of University Professors. Portland State University Chapter -- History, College teachers' unions -- Oregon -- Portland -- History



Physical Description

1 online resource (165 pages)


American college and university professors joined labor unions as early as 1916. But it was during the 1970s that higher education turned to collective bargaining as a way to raise the voice of the faculty and negotiate a fair and just work environment. Portland State University voted to have the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) represent them in collective bargaining in 1978. The thesis examines the history of PSU’s AAUP chapter and how unionization impacted the college campus and faculty life.

Collective bargaining in higher education encompasses more than negotiating salary and benefit packages. Since their inception, higher education unions have bargained for policies and procedures to ensure the faculty’s voice is heard on important academic matters. Issues associated with a healthy academic work life include academic freedom, promotion and tenure, grievance processes, professional development, and retrenchment procedures. The professional values of the American college and university faculty insist upon the idea of shared governance and demand the voice of the faculty receive as much weight as those who administer the institution’s business.

Oral history transcripts and the AAUP archives were used to develop this narrative. The author and a research team interviewed twenty-one individuals who served the AAUP during its first 25 years. A few of the interviewees held membership status only. Access to AAUP and PSU archives helped to round the thesis out in addition to a wide array of secondary sources.

*Please note, page 86 is missing from the original print version of this thesis.


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