Publication Date

March 1, 1996

Editor's Note: The Council of the American Historical Association passed the following resolution relating to the labor dispute at Yale University at a meeting that took place on January 5, 1996, during the Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta. For additional details, see “Atlanta 1996: Highlights of the AHA Annual Meeting,” on page 1 of the February 1996 issue of Perspectives.

The AHA affirms its commitment to the principle that all academic teaching staff, including graduate student teaching assistants, have the right to organize and to bargain collectively. The Association urges Yale University to respect that right. The AHA also affirms its commitment to the principle of respect for academic freedom and civil liberties that are vital to the free exchange of ideas. Reprisals, or threats of reprisals, against teaching staff engaged in efforts to organize and to bargain collectively, violate commonly accepted norms of professional conduct. No evaluation of an individual's teaching or scholarship should be affected by his or her efforts to organize and bargain collectively. The AHA urges the faculty and administration of Yale University to refrain from any action that could adversely affect the academic standing or professional career of the graduate student leaching assistants currently engaged in exercising their right to organize and bargain collectively.

The has directed the Association's Professional Division, which has responsibility for matters related to professional standards and ethics, to consider the professional issues raised by labor disputes in academic settings, particularly in cases where graduate students are engaged in efforts to secure collective bargaining rights. Furthermore, the encourages any historians, including history graduate students, who may be the victim of conduct that violates the AHA's Statement ofStandards on Professional Conduct to bring the matter to the attention of the AHA Professional Division.

The AHA recognizes that labor disputes in educational institutions often raise difficult issues for all those involved. The AHA calls upon all parties to the current labor dispute at Yale to conduct themselves in a manner that avoids compromising recognized standards of academic integrity and professional responsibility.

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