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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Paul Clark, director of the School of Labor and Employment Relations in the College of the Liberal Arts, was recently elected national president of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA). Clark will serve as president-elect in 2021–22 and president in 2022–23.
LERA is a professional association that brings together local, national, and international academics and practitioners who are interested in all aspects of labor and employment relations. Members share ideas and learn about new developments, issues, and practices in the field. LERA’s membership includes university faculty in labor and employment relations, sociology, human resource management, history, economics, law, and public policy as well as practitioners from unions, management, government, law, mediation, and arbitration.
A long-time LERA member, Clark has served in leadership positions at the local and national levels. He was president of the Western Pennsylvania and Nittany local chapters and served two terms as chair of National LERA’s Council of Deans and Directors and two terms on the National Executive Board and as chair of the National Awards Committee.
Clark, who is also a professor of labor and employment, is the first Penn State faculty member to serve as president of the association in its 72-year history.
Speaking of his election, Clark said, “Work, employment, and employment relations are a central part of the human experience. LERA brings together academics and practitioners with a commitment to making employment experiences and employment relations better for workers and organizations. It also plays a valuable role by creating communities where those who practice, study and teach about employment relations can come together to learn from, and support, each other.”
Clark has been the director of the School of LER at the University for 20 years. His research interests include employment relations in the U.S. healthcare industry, comparative union structure, government and administration, and union member commitment and participation. His research has appeared in the leading scholarly journals in labor and employment relations and applied psychology. He also is the author or editor of five books, including "Building More Effective Unions," first published by Cornell ILR Press in 2001, with a second edition in 2009.
Clark regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on employment relations, including LHR 100, the introductory course to the labor and human resources major.
He holds a master’s degree from the Cornell ILR School and a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He has served as a visiting professor at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, U.K.; the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, U.K.; the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia; Monash University, Australia; the University of Melbourne, Australia; Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; and the University of Arizona.
Throughout his career, Clark has served as a consultant to numerous unions and labor federations in Pennsylvania and around the country.
February 19, 2021