Articles

pr20081

Silver Spring, MD - The National Labor College Boardof Trustees Chair John J. Sweeney formally installed the NLC's second president, William E. Scheuerman, Ph.D., in a unique, labor-oriented academic ceremony—the only one of its kind in higher education. The ceremony included a procession of labor leaders, the traditional academic mace symbolizing the president's authority and the presentation of bread and roses symbolizing good wages, benefits and working conditions as well as the broader parts of workers' lives: the time and activities for enrichment. Scheuerman was appointed in August by the Board of Trustees and assumed his duties December 6th. He replaces Dr. Susan J. Schurman who retired in June.

"Bill Scheuerman brings scholarly achievement as well as union leadership to his new position," said John J. Sweeney, Chair of the college's Board of Trustees and president of the AFL-CIO. "I am confident that under his direction, we will not only continue the progress of the last 10 years, but reach even greater heights in the years to come."

Joining Sweeney and numerous national and local labor leaders in praise for Scheuerman was Maryland Representative and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer who said, "Bill Scheuerman brings a tremendous resume and life experiences to the presidency of the National Labor College, and I know he will be a success in this new position and lead the college to even greater heights in the years ahead.  Bill is ready-made for the presidency.  He knows what manual labor means, having worked his way through college and graduate school.  He is a first-rate scholar. And, he is a top labor leader, activist and organizer, leading the United University Professions with great effectiveness over the last 14 years.  The men and women in organized labor will benefit greatly from Bill's counsel and experience, and I congratulate him on his selection and installation as president."

Scheuerman takes over the NLC at a critical time in the college's history. The college has just completed a multi-year campus renovation and expansion that culminated in the opening of the Lane Kirkland Center - a  72,000 square foot state-of-the-art meeting and learning facility that is the heart of the 45 acre campus. Scheuerman plans to aggressively reach out to unions and workers across North America to expand enrollments and extol the virtues of higher education to workers struggling to work and compete in a global, modernizing economy.

"The labor movement faces unprecedented challenges today," said Scheuerman. "More than 40,000 manufacturing plants have closed and more than 3.4 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in just the last few years. This hurt unions and the middle class. The labor movement must now raise the standard of education to replace the high school diploma with a Bachelor's degree. We need to make lifelong learning a routine part of workers' lives. If we do not proceed in this way, we risk losing a quality of life and middle class it took a century to build."

Established as a training center by AFL-CIO in 1969 to strengthen union member education and organizing skills, the NLC is now the nation's only accredited higher education institution devoted exclusively to educating union leaders, members and activists. The NLC became a degree granting college in 1997. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an independent, regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.