BY Molly Congdon
CLIFTON PARK — Eileen Landy of Clifton Park was recently re-elected to an eighth two-year term as United University Professions’ statewide secretary.
She ran unopposed, but three of her elections have been contested. “People recognize when you’re doing your job,” said Landy, who is on leave from SUNY College of Old Westbury, where she is an associate professor of sociology.
When UUP formed in 1973, it represented 3,500 members. It has continued to grow and now represents more than 35,000 members on 29 state-operated SUNY campuses and is the largest higher education union in the country.
“Being involved in the union is in my blood,” Landy said. “My father was one of the ones who organized GE in Schenectady back in the ’50s — there’s a link there.”
She has been living in Clifton Park since 2001. Her son, Andrew Koller, went to MIT for his undergraduate work, got a master’s at the University of Massachusetts Boston and now is in a doctoral program in physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Serving as the union’s statewide secretary comes with an assortment of responsibilities. “It varies depending on who is the president,” Landy said. “Among other things I do is organize our statewide meetings, oversee our statewide elections. . . . I’m also the national coordinator for the campaign for the future of higher education and I have in the past handled and overseen legislation.
Her favorite aspect of her job is advocating for students and making a difference. “I think that this is very important work,” Landy said. “I’m always impressed and awed by the commitment of my colleagues in the union, it’s very meaningful; what we do matters.”