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Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412.396.6050
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    Information on Duquesne University's First Amendment Rights and Adjunct Unionization

    Duquesne to Appeal NLRB Decision - Statement from President Dougherty - June 5, 2015

    Recently, the University participated in a hearing before the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regarding the attempt by the United Steelworkers to unionize part-time faculty in our liberal arts college. The University has opposed this effort and has asserted its First Amendment right to be free from an unconstitutional intrusion of government control over it as a religious institution. Read more »

    Duquesne to Defend Religious Freedom at NLRB Hearing - Statement from President Dougherty - April 27, 2015

    On Monday, April 27, Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit will be participating in a hearing before the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Pittsburgh regarding the attempt by the Steelworkers to unionize part-time faculty in our liberal arts college. Read more »

    Statement Regarding NLRB Board Order of Sept. 14, 2012

    While the Board's Order denied Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit's request to file a special appeal over the NLRB's assertion of jurisdiction in this matter, the Board stated that its denial was "without prejudice." The Order specifically stated that "if the Union did receive a majority of the votes cast, the Employer may renew its jurisdictional contention before the Board." In such circumstances, Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit will appeal and reassert its position that based on the Supreme Court's ruling in NLRB v. Catholic Bishop, the NLRB lacks statutory jurisdiction over this religious institution.

    President Dougherty Outlines University's Position Protecting its First Amendment Rights - June 22, 2012

    I write to provide a context for the University's assertion of its First Amendment right to religious exemption from the authority of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to impose a union of our adjunct faculty on the University. I appreciate your patience for a long communication on a difficult situation.

    The University was not aware of any general discontent among part-time faculty until an intention to unionize with the United Steelworkers was made public in the media. We literally found out about it in the newspapers. No group of adjuncts had approached the University to ask for dialogue.

    It is important to point out that the University as such has no policies on adjuncts, only a definition. There are no University pay scales; these vary by College and Schools. They also vary by the role adjuncts play. In the professional schools, they often serve to add clinical experience. In the College, they tend to teach introductory level courses. There are no benefits or long term securities associated with these positions due to their ad hoc and transitory nature. Only in the last several years have the numbers of adjuncts in the College increased significantly.  At the same time, there appear to be a growing number of part-time faculty who seek to make a full-time living by taking on multiple part-time assignments, often spread among several universities. Read more »


    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.