The 2016 Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) annual meeting was held in Minneapolis last May. Numerous faculty, staff, and alumni of the Center for Human Resources and Labor Relations were involved in the four-day event. The theme was "Employment Relations in the Age of Uber: Assessing our Past, Present, and Future."

Meeting highlights

  • Professor John Budd, who serves on the LERA executive board, organized two tours for conference attendees, was a panelist in a session on writing and publishing books, and organized and chaired two sessions: "The Changing Upper Midwest Social Contract," and "Work Challenges in First Nations Communities."
  • Taylor Fyfe, ’11 MA-HRIR, led a tour of the Toro plant, where he works as an HR manager.
  • Jerome (Jerry) Barrett, ’63 MA-IR, displayed his poster on the history of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
  • James Bialke, ’87 MA-IR, was on a discussion panel and organized two other sessions. Eric Miller, ‘11 MA-HRIR, was also on a discussion panel.
  • PhD alumni Tom Norman, ’09 PhD-HRIR, Darla (Flint) Hamman, ’09 PhD-HRIR, Ting Ren, ’09 PhD-HRIR, and Qianyun Xie, ’15 PhD-BA, along with Carlson School PhD students Fang Hu, Wei Wang, and Julie Wellmann, and WOrg faculty members Avner Ben-Ner, Alan Benson, John Budd, and Mahmood Zaidi, enjoyed catching up at a reunion dinner during the conference.
  • A number of awards were presented during the course of the conference: Assistant Professor Aaron Sojourner received the 2015 John T. Dunlop Scholar Award; Professor Morris Kleiner was named a LERA Fellow; LES Director Barb Kucera received a LERA Media Award for her work with the Workday Minnesota website; and Qianyun Xie, ’15, received honorable mention for the best PhD dissertation award.
  • LES Labor Educator Monica Bieski Boris organized a session and was a presenter on another; LES staffers Howard King and Randy Croce recorded three sessions, and Associate Department Administrator Brenda Lucy volunteered at the conference.

More than 350 people attended the conference, including scholars, union leaders, managers, mediators, arbitrators and others from around the country.