Statement from Provost John Coatsworth

This statement was shared with the Columbia Community on December 9, 2016

Since the last week of August, when the NLRB reversed its position and decided that students at private universities may be treated as employees, Columbia’s administration has communicated two principal messages to our University community and to eligible voters: We have always believed that the magnitude of the decision at issue in this election, in combination with Columbia’s values, required an open and respectful conversation that explained the arguments for and against unionization. Having heard those arguments, the research and teaching assistants who voted have chosen to be represented by the United Auto Workers.

Second, as I said in my letter of August 24 to the Columbia community: “Regardless of the outcome of the election, we will continue to ensure that Columbia remains a place where every student can achieve the highest levels of intellectual accomplishment and personal fulfillment.” This sentiment remains as true today as it was then.