From news reports in the past week, it looks like the University of Oregon administration is making some foolish decisions in how to respond to striking graduate students. If the news sources I have read are accurate (see reports from Inside Higher Ed, Oregon Live, and December 6 and December 9 reports from the philosophy blog Daily Nous), the administration has taken the following steps:
- Refused to make written commitments on several agreements in principle on family leave, the prime area of disagreement remaining in bargaining.
- Asked faculty to let students receive semester grades based on work completed before the strike, even if assignments with significant weight in the syllabus — and significant student work — were due after the strike began.
- Asked at least some department heads to become instructors of record or hire non-union graders, including for hundreds of students in courses where they and likely graders have little to no expertise.
- Threatened international students with deportation if they participated in the strike.
This is happening as the university is led by an interim president whose area of research is precisely around paid leave.