In 1975, Kendall College, Evanston, Ill., terminated two tenured faculty members and reduced two others to part-time status, touching off a lengthy and bitter labor dispute. In response, the faculty unionized, affiliating itself with the American Federation of Teachers. The college refused to recognize the union for seven months until union members walked off the job for two weeks in 1976. After several court appeals, the college reluctantly agreed to collective bargaining, and, in 1980, the union and the administration finalized a contract.
The Kendall College Council Papers consist of materials collected by the union from its formation through 1981. Included are memoranda, bargaining notes, the contract in various stages, correspondence, personnel files, and publications related to the National Labor Relations Board hearings, concerning alleged harassment of union members and unfair labor practices.
Josephine Hayford, first president of the Kendall College Council, donated the collection to the University of Illinois in 1981, through the assistance of Stanley Rosen of the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations. It was deposited in the Illinois Historical Survey in 1982.
In 2005, Kendall College moved from Evanston to downtown Chicago.