December 7, 2015

December 2015

Whereas the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is a professional society whose mission is dedicated to the promotion of “excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history,” and to the encouragement of “the equitable treatment of all practitioners of history”; and

Whereas, the OAH chooses from time to time to advocate on those practitioners’ behalf; and

Whereas, the OAH’s strategic plan expresses concern about “the continuing reliance on, and conditions of employment for part-time, adjunct, and contingent faculty;” and

Whereas the OAH has observed the growing use of part-time and contingent historians across higher education under conditions of work that are neither equitable for contingent historians nor conducive to “excellence in the scholarship, teaching and presentation of American history,”

Therefore, be it resolved, that the OAH Executive Board urges and endorses the principle that collective bargaining can be, and in many instances has proven to be, an important tool that historians might deploy to secure fair working conditions for contingent faculty members, as well as to support good teaching, study and practice of American history and provide first-rate history education for students. The OAH acknowledges that not all collective bargaining organizations are concerned with promoting historical study, and that collective bargaining may not always be suitable for every institution of higher education in every part of the country, but strongly submits that where particular collective bargaining campaigns promise to achieve the kind of “best practices” outlined in the OAH’s “Standards on Part-Time, Adjunct and Contingent Employment” (as revised April 2014), members of the American history profession should strongly consider warmly endorsing and actively supporting such campaigns to advance the kind of faculty employment conditions that are essential for excellent historical practice.