New Test to Determine Managerial Status of University Professors

The Service Employees Union International (SEIU) has led the way over the past few years in organizing adjunct university professors. Though many other unions have followed in its footsteps, the SEIU has aggressively organized adjunct, part-time, non-tenured, and contingent university faculty members. In response, universities have argued that professors are managerial employees are excluded from coverage of the National Labor Relations Act and therefore unable to join or form a union. In mid-December, the Board “refined” its test for determining the managerial status of university faculty members. It will now examine the faculty’s participation in the decision-making process for academic programs, enrollment, management policies, finances, academic policies, as well as personnel policies and decisions. The greatest weight will be given to the first three areas.

Matt Austin is a lawyer based in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA who limits his practice to representing employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 723-2010 or email him at