Why join the IFO?

IFO membership helps to protect academic freedom, provide job protections, fair pay, and better benefits for all. Becoming a member is easy; simply click here and fill out the short membership form. 

By joining the IFO, you will be doing your part to help enhance and protect:

Tenure, Academic Freedom, and Quality Education

The IFO contract supports the full protection of tenure and academic freedom. This includes freedom to: develop innovative curriculum; research, engage in civic issues, and report on topics regardless of whether the results are popular; and freely explore and express artistic or theatrical endeavors.

A strong collective voice is the only way to protect these bedrocks of high-quality post-secondary education.


Fair Pay

The average union-represented worker earns 29% more than non-represented workers. A 2016 comprehensive analysis of public-regional-university faculties found the difference a union makes: about $21,000 annually in pay and benefits. The IFO has fought for highly competitive wages, secured regular pay increases, and negotiated a salary review process to ensure you are being paid equitably relative to your peers.

Fair pay is best achieved through collective bargaining and strong union participation.


Retirement Security

The IFO has secured two retirement options for faculty to choose depending on their unique circumstances. IFO representatives worked with legislators to have faculty included in a defined-benefit plan under the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) or the option of choosing a defined-contribution plan called the Individual Retirement Account Plan (IRAP). IFO staff work hard with retirement plan administrators and the legislature to ensure the plans are always meeting the best interests of faculty. IFO staff also conduct campus workshops and individual counseling sessions to help faculty make informed decisions on which retirement programs best fit their needs.

Without a strong union, you will lose the ability to protect your retirement benefits.


The IFO contract mandates a shared governance model, which requires faculty involvement in personnel decisions, budget preparation, and academic policy development.

Your membership in the IFO ensures that our voices are heard when important decisions are being made.

Shared Governance


Union-represented workers are 35% more likely than non-represented workers to have access to health insurance benefits through their jobs. State university faculty are covered under the State of Minnesota’s health and dental insurance plans. These plans offer exceptional coverage at a very low cost for faculty and their families. The IFO’s health and wellness benefits package includes: life insurance, disability insurance, paid parental leave, and paid sick time.

Your membership in the IFO helps preserve health and wellness benefits throughout your career. 

Health and Wellness Benefits


The IFO promotes gender, race, national origin, LGBTQ+ and disability equity  in hiring, pay, and fostering a supportive work environment. IFO staff advocate to enforce the rights of traditionally underrepresented faculty. The IFO actively works to provide opportunities for faculty of color and American Indian faculty, women and LBGTQ+ faculty, and faculty with disabilities to develop and exercise leadership and a collective voice in the organization as well as the state universities.  

A strong and inclusive union ensures all faculty that “we have your back.”

Commitment to Equity and Inclusion


The IFO works closely with legislators and the governor each year at the Capitol to advance the interests of state university faculty during state budget and policy discussions. The state legislature must approve each contract the IFO negotiates. We track legislation, keep you informed, and arm you with the resources you need to influence public policy.

Your IFO membership helps bring your voice to the Capitol.

Legislative Advocacy


The IFO employs an unrivaled legal team with decades of experience in labor law and contract enforcement. These skilled and dedicated advocates effectively represent faculty whose contract rights have been violated.

A strong union ensures that your contract rights are enforced.

Contract Enforcement