As reported by Ry Rivard in Inside Higher Ed today, the president of the University of Southern Maine announced last Friday that she will be consulting the faculty so as to avoid the laying off faculty.  The news is not totally good, as USM will still be laying off 34 staff people, cutting several programs, and still some faculty members may lose their jobs.

But still, it’s a stunning about-face, and while there are many theories, one of the main factors appears to have been a union grievance brought last Thursday by the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine–that’s right, the faculty union.

It may be increasingly circumscribed, but this is further evidence that even now in academia, there is power in a union.

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