Since 2002, Bob Bussel has been director of the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon. Previously, Bussel was a labor educator at Penn State University for seven years.
Bussel is also a professor of history at the University of Oregon, where he teaches courses on social movements, labor and the working class, immigration, and the history of sports.
Bussel has been associated with the union movement for over four decades. After working for the United Farm Workers, he spent ten years working with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, where he served as assistant to the senior executive vice-president of ACTWU, coordinated the J.P. Stevens boycott in New Jersey, and directed organizing campaigns in the Mid-Atlantic States.
Bussel holds a masters’ degree in labor education from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in history from Cornell University. His first book, From Harvard to the Ranks of Labor: Powers Hapgood and the American Working Class, was published in 1999. His second book, titled Fighting for Total Person Unionism: Harold Gibbons, Ernest Calloway, and Working-Class Citizenship,came out in 2015 under the University of Illinois Press’s “The Working Class in American History” series.
Bussel has published numerous articles on labor history and contemporary labor issues. He also conducts applied research on work and employment issues, including co-authorship of three studies on the privatization of school support services in Oregon.
As a labor educator, Bussel has conducted trainings and workshops in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development, organizational change, internal organizing, messaging and framing, and labor history.
In recent years Bussel has become deeply interested in issues affecting immigrant workers. He edited a 2008 University of Oregon report on the immigrant experience in Oregon and in 2010, convened the Integration Network for Immigrants in Lane County, a group that seeks to create more welcoming communities for immigrants and their families.
Bussel recently assisted in producing a documentary film on the history of home care worker organizing in Oregon and is currently researching on the anti-racism educational efforts of unions in the immediate post World War II period.
See Curriculum Vitae for publications and activities