July 23rd, 2015
Ever since their founding in the 1960s, unions that represent
university faculty have been in the cross-hairs of conservative
legislatures across the United States.
The most recent effort by
Ohio House Republicans in H.B. 64 to forbid faculty at Ohio’s public
universities from bargaining collectively over their contracts is just
the latest in a long series of efforts across the country to eliminate
or weaken the ability of faculty unions. However, doing what they
suggest is likely to drive up costs in higher education. If that seems
puzzling to you, read on.
The rationale for eliminating unions is
that it gives administrators greater freedom (from faculty) to make the
tough decisions that promise to reduce costs and increase quality. The
sad irony is that such efforts are likely to decrease efficiency and
increase costs. How do I know this? I looked at the data.