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Who We Are 

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United Academics represents …

Tenure-Track Faculty

Career Instructors

Career Researchers

Pro-Tem Faculty



Your Elected Leaders

United Academics is you: the faculty that make the University of Oregon a world-class institution of higher education.

That said, we are a member-run union and we rely on the hard work of many faculty across campus who volunteer their time to serve as officers, representatives, stewards, bargaining team members, … the list goes on.

United Academics has two elected assemblies: the Executive Council and the Representative Assembly. We also have a number of committees focused on politics, communications, organizing, bargaining, etc.

The Executive Council

The Executive Council consists of the elected leadership of United Academics together with the chairs of the Politics Committee, the Organizing & Membership Committee, and the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee.  The Chair of the Representative Assembly also services as a non-voting member. The Executive Council meets regularly to discuss campus issues.

Mike Urbancic


Mike Urbancic is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Economics, where he has been teaching both large lower-division courses and smaller upper-division electives since 2012.

He is passionate about teaching, and he loves making connections across campus both through his work with United Academics and in a variety of service roles across campus. He currently serves on the Undergraduate Council, the Committee for Academic Infrastructure, and the Board of the Provost’s Teaching Academy.

In each of these spheres—and at the bargaining table—he works to highlight and elevate the teaching mission of the university, enhance the profile of our dedicated instructors, and strengthen our institutional support and job security.


Email Mike

Kate Mills

Executive Vice President

Kate Mills is an Associate Professor of Psychology. Her research focuses on how children and adolescents navigate their social worlds (devbrainlab.org). She enjoys meeting with faculty across the university and is excited to serve the bargaining unit in her new role on UA's executive committee. Please reach out to her if you want to grab a coffee or tea on campus sometime!

Email Kate

Chris Sinclair


Chris Sinclair is an associate professor of mathematics who studies number theory and probability. He has been President of the University Senate, a past-President of United Academics, and is currently the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Association of University Professors.

Email Chris

Keaton Miller


Keaton Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department Economics, his academic home since 2015. His work focuses on imperfectly competitive markets in a number of contexts ranging from health insurance to cannabis. He teaches large lower-division courses, small upper-division electives, and graduate seminars. Keaton's work with United Academics began in earnest during COVID with the administration's desire to cut faculty salaries.

Email Keaton

Christina Karns

Vice President for Non-Tenure-Track Research Faculty Affairs

Christina Karns is an Assistant Research Professor in Psychology with the Center for Brain Injury Research and Training.

She uses human neuroimaging, behavior, and interventions in kids and adults (with and without disability) to clarify how attention and self-regulation support development. What brain systems support positive social interactions, how do they affect stress systems in the body, and to what degree are these interactions changeable, demonstrating neuroplasticity?

Good science can be a powerful force toward social justice, an ethos she brings to her teaching and her research.


Email Christina

Eleanor Wakefield

Vice President for Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty Affairs

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.


Email Eleanor

David Luebke

Vice President for Tenure-Track Faculty Affairs

David M. Luebke is a professor in the Department of History whose research and writing focuses on the religions and political cultures of ordinary people in the German-speaking lands of central Europe.

He has been a member of the UO faculty since 1997 and has supported the formation of a faculty union since beginning, way back in 2007.

David is especially interested in ensuring that procedures for the review and promotion of faculty members are conducted fairly, according to clear and transparent criteria, and with proper respect for the value that departments place on scholarship, teaching, and service.

Email David

Ed Wolf

Vice President of Diversity & Equity

Juan Eduardo (Ed) Wolf is an associate professor of ethnomusicology at the School of Music and Dance as well as core faculty in the Folklore Program. He serves on the boards of the Center for Latinx and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) and Latinx Studies. He also has taught as faculty director for the Latinx ARC for two quarters.

Email Ed

Nathan Whalen

Chair of the Grievances & Contract Administration Committee

Nathan Whalen is a Senior Instructor II of Spanish, in the Department of Romance Languages, and has worked at the University of Oregon since 2001.  He is interested in and teaches courses dealing with cultural geography, social and political change, and artistic manifestations in Latin America.

Nathan has served as a Humanities Representative and sat on the Organizing and Membership Committees and is now Chair of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee.

When not around campus teaching, grading, and engaged in moderate syndicalist rabble-rousing, Nathan enjoys traveling and attempting to grow and process more fruits and vegetables than is frankly necessary.

Email Nathan

Edward Davis

Chair of the Organizing & Membership Committee

Edward Davis is an academic expert in paleontology and the evolution of large mammals. At the University of Oregon, he is an associate professor of earth sciences and the Paleontological Collections Manager for the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Edward specializes in the way species respond to ongoing climate change. Most of his work is on terrestrial herbivores (plant eaters, like antelope), but his research also expands into whales and carnivores.

Email Edward

Dan Webb Howard

Chair of the Politics Committee

Dan Webb Howard is an instructor in the Lundquist College of Business, where he teaches business law and negotiations courses. He began teaching at UO in 2019, following an 18-year legal career that spanned a wide range of practice areas, including employment law, tax litigation, and immigration law.

In addition to serving as the Chair of Politics, Dan serves on the bargaining team, Dan is a member of UA’s Grievances & Contract Administration Committee (GCAC).

Off campus and away from work, Dan enjoys playing guitar and singing, especially bossa nova, latin jazz, and funk music.  You may occasionally see him playing at live music venues in the Eugene area.


In addition to UA’s elected leaders and stewards, United Academics is supported by two full-time staff. Find out more about our staff and how to get in touch with them.

If you’re not sure who the right person to talk to is, send an email to [email protected], and we’ll make sure it gets to the right staff person or officer.


Heather Wolford

Organizing Director

Heather Wolford joined the United Academics team in September of 2018. Prior to that, she worked with faculty at Oregon State University while they organized their union, United Academics of OSU.

Heather attended UO as both an undergrad and graduate student, earning master’s degrees in International Studies and Public Administration, and is excited to be back in Eugene.

She’s a fan of live music, the outdoors, and spending time in Latin America.

Email Heather

Kristy Hammond

Operations Director

Kristy Hammond has worked for United Academics since February of 2014. Previously, she co-founded Cornbread Cafe, a vegan comfort food restaurant, and also spent seven years with the Civil Liberties Defense Center.

Kristy is a native of Wisconsin and has lived in Eugene for over twenty years where she takes every opportunity afforded to her to enjoy the outdoors with her family.

Email Kristy

The Representative Assembly

Representatives and stewards constitute the Representative Assembly. The Representative Assembly meets twice per term to discuss workplace and organizational concerns, as well as the strategic direction of our union.

Stewards serve in a voluntary capacity and act as advocates and advisors for union members within their department or unit. They also facilitate communication with and coordinate union activities among their colleagues. Each department or unit may select at least one steward.

Representatives (reps) are elected to two-year terms and have the authority to vote on union business, including approval of the budget and any changes to the Constitution or other internal policies. Representative positions are allotted on the basis of employment classification and by college or school. Representatives also serve as stewards for their department or unit. The Representative Assembly is represented on the Executive Council by its Chair.

Chair of the Representative Assembly

Chair of the Representative Assembly

Kathleen Freeman

Kathleen is a Senior Instructor II and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Computer Science, and was elected to chair the Representative Assembly on October 11, 2023.

Email Kathleen



Standing Committees meet regularly and are always looking for new members. If you are a UA member interested in serving on a committee, email us.


The CAT works to support the Bargaining Team during and in the run-up to bargaining. This year the CAT is combined with the Organizing & Membership Committee to form OMCAT.


 GCAC helps faculty during the grievance process, and in assessing whether informal processes may lead to a better outcome. GCAC works closely with the VPs for faculty affairs on matters of promotion denial.


The Finance & Budget Committee proposes the annual budget to the Representative Assembly for approval. They ensure United Academics remains a financially viable organization.


The Politics Committee vets endorsements for local and state-wide political office. They also help direct the legislative priorities of the lobbyists of our state affiliates, and maintain relationships with local politicians and university lobbyists. 


The Communications Committee is the editorial board for the Duck & Cover newsletter, our social media feeds, out-going email communications and press releases. They determine the tone of all of our external communications.


Organinzing & Membership (currently combined with the CAT to form OMCAT) is responsible for building the United Academics community. 

Governance Documents


See the document that make us tick!


The budget and regulatory documents.


UA’s management policies.

Our History

Beginning in 2007, faculty started organizing meetings to discuss the possibility of forming a faculty union; faculty were concerned about the erosion of shared governance and salaries that put them at the bottom of their AAU comparators.

In 2009, faculty organizers affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors to begin the process of forming a faculty union at the UO, selecting the name United Academics of the University of Oregon. After two-and-a-half years of organizing conversations, guest speakers from unions across the country, and thousands of individual conversations, United Academics collected union membership cards from a majority of faculty in all sectors and filed for recognition with the Oregon Employment Relations Board in April 2012.

In October 2013, we reached our first collective bargaining agreement with the university. In that same month, we ratified our Constitution and Bylaws and approved our first budget. The Representative Assembly adopted a revised Constitution and Bylaws of United Academics on October 16, 2019. This version of the Constitution and Bylaws governs the affairs of United Academics. The first official elected leaders of United Academics took office in January 2014.

Our National & State Affiliates

When you're a member of United Academics you are also a member of the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors. Both come with membership benefits, but perhaps the best benefit is knowing that you are part of a union family literally millions strong!

American Federation of Teachers

AFT represents 1.6 million members across the United States.


AFT-Oregon is the state affiliate of AFT. AFT-OR represents more than 12,000 workers statewide.

The American Association of University Professors

The AAUP was founded in 1918 to defend academic freedom.


AAUP-Oregon has members at UO, OSU, PSU, EOU, OIT, Marylhurst, and Linfield.

American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations

The AFL-CIO is the umbrella organization for 56 national and international unions.

Oregon AFL-CIO

The state affiliate of the AFL-CIO.