5/10/2010: Greg Bolt of the RG has a story on the Senate census of opinions on a union. Some people say this was “unscientific”. In this context this typically means a sample that is biased towards one group, therefore with results that are problematic for making unbiased estimates of population responses. But this poll was of the whole population of interest, not a sample, and therefore it is not unscientific in the sense used in the story. Responses, of course, could still be from a biased sample. With about a 50% response (higher for the faculty) this problem may be present but is much less severe than in most polls, many of which have 20% response rates or lower. Given the high response rate and how strong the results are against the union, the organizers have to take the results seriously. The union is not even close to having the level of support among faculty and OA’s needed to win an election and they will not try.
Sentiment on campus has changed. I think the faculty that brought this union effort to campus and worked very hard on it deserve a lot of credit for that change. I’m guessing Provost Bean is not going to credit it as “university service” when it comes time for raises, but he should! The administration realized that this was a serious organizing effort, and in response they cut down a bit on the lies and arrogance – we haven’t heard Bean’s 38% claim for a while – and they finally committed to a plan that will redirect some of our new tuition money away from themselves and back towards the faculty. Here’s hoping they don’t go right back to business as usual, now that this threat is removed.