With increased activity around graduate student unionization at a number of private universities, including Brown, Provost Richard M. Locke offers guidance to faculty about acceptable forms of interaction to ensure we adhere to the law and offer a climate that is conducive to thoughtful discussion and debate.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled Tuesday that graduate students at private colleges and universities who serve as teaching or research assistants are employees with the right to decide whether or not to unionize

Ruling by the National Labor Relations Board presents graduate student assistants as employees.

Graduate education has been central to Brown’s mission for well over a century. Today, graduate students at Brown compose approximately one-quarter of the student population and contribute in significant and enduring ways to teaching, research and the advancement of knowledge across the disciplines. Conversations are taking place here at Brown and throughout the country about the role graduate students play in the educational and research mission and operations of private universities such as Brown. 

Brown and other universities argue in an amicus brief filed Feb. 29 that the National Labor Relations Board should preserve its prior ruling that precludes unionization by graduate assistants at private research universities.