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Faculty at Southern Illinois University's flagship campus in Carbondale will be voting later this month on whether to go on strike as part of a lingering contract dispute.

The group representing tenured and tenure-track faculty at the 20,000-student school voted unanimously Thursday to seek a strike-authorization vote. That means the entire membership will vote Sept. 28 on whether a walkout is in order.

A representative of the group says the union began bargaining with the administration in April of last year.

A spokesman for the university told The Associated Press on Friday he hopes both sides continue talks. He says a walkout would be unfortunate but that the school would do whatever it takes to minimize disruption of courses during a strike.

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