Anti-Spellings Protests Backed by Faculty-Union Offshoot

RALEIGH, N.C. ― Opponents of incoming University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings include an offshoot of one of the country’s largest labor unions.

Spellings is set to become the statewide public university system’s leader Tuesday. Some students plan a classroom walkout and rally on the university system’s flagship Chapel Hill campus.

Similar anti-Spellings demonstrations have been staged since former President George W. Bush’s education secretary was picked to head the 17-campus system in October.

Opposition groups include the Faculty Forward Network, an offshoot of the Service Employees International Union’s campus labor organizing efforts. Malini Cadambi Daniel coordinates the union’s efforts to organize college and university employees around the country. She says the union provides Faculty Forward Network with financial and staffing support.