Working Conditions and Learning Conditions after the National Labor Relations Board’s Brown University Decision

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Scott Henkel


In July of 2004, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handed down its Brown University decision. The decision has high stakes: the Board ruled that private universities do not have to recognize graduate employee unions—even democratically elected ones—unless they voluntarily choose to do so. This essay reviews the Brown decision and examines why its antidemocratic stance will harm American higher education.

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