Teaching Profession

NEA Cult Figure Bob Chanin to Retire

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 04, 2009 1 min read

This year marks NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin’s last Representative Assembly before he retires.

Over the years, the sausage-curled, bespectacled Chanin has attained something close to cult status at the NEA for his encyclopedic knowledge of the union’s bylaws, standing rules, and resolutions, in addition to national labor law. He is frequently called upon by the NEA president and other speakers to resolve disputes over points of procedure and so forth, always to great applause from the delegates.

This year, the RA passed a new business item directing the NEA executive board to come up with an appropriate commendation for Chanin. Discussion of the item was filled with good-natured jokes. “If and when this item passes, will the honorable Bob Chanin finally show us his amicus briefs?” joked one delegate.

Initially, the item would have nominated Chanin for the NEA’s Friend of Education award, but the delegates amended the language, as it would have bypassed the committee charged with nominating candidates for the award.

Something tells me the by-the-books Chanin probably approved.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.