Higher Ed Administrators and Values

New Jersey’s Progressive-Democratic Party Governor, Phil Murphy, has decided to intervene, nakedly, on the side of unions in a labor dispute between Rutgers faculty and Rutgers administrators.

Rutgers faculty walked off the job Monday after three employee unions launched a strike. The move has left classrooms empty….

Under New Jersey law, university administrators can go into State court and get an injunction forcing an end to the strike and a resumption/continuation of negotiations. Murphy has stepped in, though, and told the administrators “don’t you dare.” Murphy’s diktat isn’t, strictly speaking, enforceable, but Murphy does control 20% of Rutgers’ state funding, and he appoints the majority of its board.

As the WSJ editorial put it,

…administrators are now under political pressure to cave.

Not entirely, though. They could force Murphy’s hand by going to court anyway. These administrators just have to decide which they value more: their personal jobs or the Rutgers students and their ability to get the education they’re paying princely sums for.

Those administrators’ actions will make their values obvious, regardless of how they might characterize their choice.

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