Keith Denslow

Publication Date


Document Type



Although the National Labor Relations Act was enacted into federal law in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board did not extend the Act to cover employees of private, nonprofit universities and colleges until 1970. Shortly thereafter, in a separate but not unrelated decision, the Supreme Court decided NLRB v. Bell Aerospace Co., in which it held that all managerial employees are ineligible for coverage under the Act. Unknown to either the Court or the Board, the Bell decision placed in jeopardy the earlier Board decision to extend jurisdiction over university employees. A clash between the two decisions seemed inevitable and was realized in NLRB v. Yeshiva University. In that decision, the Court upheld the refusal by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to enforce a Board order that Yeshiva University negotiate with the bargaining agent of its faculty on the ground that all members of the faculty were exempt from the Act because they qualified as managerial employees. Although the Court in Yeshiva narrowly limited its decision to the facts of the case, the decision may be viewed as signaling the beginning of the end for collective bargaining in higher education. Hence, the purpose of this note is to determine the accuracy of that observation.