The United Academics Constitution and Bylaws establishes eight standing committees, chaired by members of the Executive Council. All full members of United Academics are encouraged to participate on the committees. If you are interested in participating, please email the chair of the committee for information on how to get involved.


Nathan Whalen is the Executive Vice President and the Chair of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He is excited about bargaining.


Heather Quarles is the chair of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee [GCAC]. If you have questions about your rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement or University policy, Heather and the Committee are happy to help. You can click the circle to the right to email Heather. Not all problems or situations fall under the CBA, of course, but our role is to help members determine whether they do have a grievance, to advise members accordingly, and, when appropriate, pursue action on behalf of the member. If you want to know how to file a grievance, you can read about that process here. The Grievance and Contract Administration Committee is charged, through the UA Constitution and Bylaws with many duties:
  • Fields requests by UA members to investigation suspected violations of the CBA by the University of Oregon
  • Connects members with stewards who can represent members and investigate suspected violations of the CBA
  • Helps members secure due process in CBA-related investigations and a fair and impartial hearing by relevant University personnel
  • Interprets the CBA with respect to cases that come before the Committee
  • Recommends next steps in the grievance process based on a review of the case
  • Proposes amendments to the CBA to better serve members with grievance and contract administration


talk with joe small white borderBill Harbaugh is the Chair of the Finance Committee. Bill is also the Treasurer of United Academics. Professor Harbaugh has taught Economics at UO since 1995. His research uses methods from experimental economics and neuroeconomics to study charitable giving and the economic behavior of children. If you have any questions about the UA budget, feel free to click the button above and Bill will be happy to help.


Avinnash Tiwari is the Chair of the Politics Committee. The committee helps foster and coordinate our union’s efforts toward the aim of reclaiming public higher education in Oregon. Numerous issues threaten our ability to provide a first-rate, affordable and equitable education in Oregon. These include rising tuition, rapidly increasing student debt, lack of funding for academic programming, shrinking support for primary research, and the retention of faculty.

Higher education is further threatened by disappearing resources for public K through 12 education in the state, leaving students unprepared for college. Finally, several ongoing political currents threaten the future and vitality of public higher education, among them the national trend toward the real or de facto privatization of public colleges and universities; the ever-escalating pressure on colleges and universities to quantify the unquantifiable benefits of higher learning; and the long-term campaign to dismantle or abolish collective bargaining rights for faculty and for public employees generally.

Our goals are to shift legislative priorities in Salem toward better funding for higher education, making it more available for Oregonians of all social, economic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds to achieve a quality college education. To this end, we work to make our voices heard by elected representatives, to work with allies around the state on strategies reinvigorate public higher education, to educate the public on these issues through writing, speaking, and agitating. We work to engage our fellow union members in this mission and invite you to join us.

These priorities indicate a number of concrete strategies. Most immediately, our goals call for the engagement of our union members in political action. Such action includes contributing to our Political Action Fund, which helps us advance our aims by supporting actions and political candidates who share our values. It also includes contacting public officials, reaching out to fellow Oregonians, and participating in campaigns around issues that will shape the future of public higher education in this state.

The Politics Committee will also forge alliances with colleagues and bargaining units at other public universities, large and small, throughout the state (Portland State University, Oregon State University, Western Oregon University, Southern Oregon University, and the Oregon Institute of Technology); with colleagues and bargaining units at two-year community colleges throughout Oregon; and with the state-wide organizations sharing our goals and representing our interests—AFT-Oregon, AAUP-Oregon, the Association of Oregon Faculties (AOF), and the Oregon Education Association (OEA).


Eleanor Wakefield is an instructor in the English department and composition program. She began teaching at the UO in 2010 as a graduate student in English, continuing as a pro tem and now career instructor. During her time as a graduate student and employee, she acted as a steward and VP of Grievances for the GTFF. She has also served a steward from English for UA and chair of the Representative Assembly. Her scholarly work is on poetry and poetics, especially 19th and 20th century American formal verse. 


David Woken is the History and Latin American Studies Librarian at the UO Libraries, building the library's collections for History, Spanish and Portuguese, Latin American Studies, African Studies, and Medieval Studies as well as providing research and instructional support for faculty across these disciplines and programs. He is also the curator of the archival collections on Latinx history housed in UO Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives, particularly the records of the Oregon farmworker union Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Tree Planters and Farmworkers United, PCUN). Prior to becoming a librarian he studied Latin American labor history, focusing on the anarchist militants of early twentieth-century Argentina. His professional interests include the use of critical pedagogy with archival collections, open access publishing in the global south, and the history of Oregon's Latinx community.