NLRB on Shared Governance

In December the National Labor Relations Board ruled on a case that delineates more fully what shared governance means. In Pacific Lutheran University, NLRB Case 19-RC-102521 the NLRB found that for true shared governance to exist, that faculty must have actual control or make effective recommendations over policy areas.
This requires that “the party asserting managerial status must prove actual—rather than mere paper—authority. . . . A faculty handbook may state that the faculty has authority over or responsibility for a particular decision-making area, but it must be demonstrated that the faculty exercises such authority in fact.” Proof requires “specific evidence or testimony regarding the nature and number of faculty decisions or recommendations in a particular decision making area, and the subsequent review of those decisions or recommendations, if any, by the university administration prior to implementation, rather than mere conclusory assertions that decisions or recommendations are generally followed.” Further, the board used strong language in defining “effective” as meaning that “recommendations must almost always be followed by the administration” or “routinely become operative without independent review by the administration.”
Inside Higher Ed has a good write-up of the decision and its possible implications here.

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