SEIU 1021

SEIU 1021 and Oakland elected leaders join forces to maintain higher education at Holy Names


When Holy Names University (HNU) became the latest private Bay Area nonprofit college to announce its closure after mismanagement, poor decision-making, and self-dealing by administration and board members, SEIU 1021 was immediately invested in advocating for the college to stay open or to be replaced by another higher education institution.

SEIU 1021 represents adjunct Holy Names University (HNU) faculty and is calling on California Attorney General Rob Bonta to help save the Oakland hills property as a center for higher education in Oakland. We disagree with HNU’s decision to close the institution without exhausting every possibility to keep it open and to sell the 60-acre property to the highest bidder. 

Oakland City Council members have called for bringing a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to take over the campus and operations — a goal SEIU 1021 supports as an alternative to it continuing as HNU. HNU leadership has indicated it may be considering turning the campus over to an HBCU. This could protect the jobs of our members at Holy Names as well as offering higher learning opportunities to Black Bay Area students.

In a letter to Rob Bonta, SEIU 1021 President Theresa Rutherford requested he join SEIU 1021 in committing “to preserving higher education for the residents of Oakland.” 

“As the collective bargaining representative for the adjunct professors at Holy Names University, we support the call by members of the Oakland City Council to maintain a nonprofit college in Oakland geared towards educating first-generation college students from the East Bay as well as training workers in education and health care fields specifically. We want to preserve jobs and services.

“SEIU stands ready to work with all stakeholders to maintain vital educational resources in Oakland and to make history by bringing an HBCU to Oakland.”

Read more in the Oakland Post here.