Statement of Concerned Faculty in Support of Graduate Students United

Statement of Concerned Faculty in Support of Graduate Students United

The University of Chicago’s campaign against graduate student unionization has significantly damaged the integrity of the University both morally and intellectually.

In his February 14 email, announcing Graduate Student United’s decision to withdraw their petition to serve as the duly elected representative of graduate students, Provost Diermeier engaged in careful reputation management, providing no explanation and no context for these events. Both are available, however, on the GSU website (https://uchicagogsu.org/2018/02/14/how-well-win-our-contract/). Their story undercuts the administration’s carefully crafted narrative and flattering self-portrait.

There we learn that the GSU took this action based on a realistic concern that the University’s actions, in cooperation with the anti-union agenda of the Trump administration, could produce long-standing damage to the graduate student unionization movement here and elsewhere. Having seen their heavy-handed attempts to block unionization fail, the President, Provost, and trustees stubbornly refused to recognize the democratically elected union. They wagered correctly that if they stalled long enough, an NLRB dominated by Trump appointees would ultimately rule in their favor and establish a precedent with far-reaching consequences.

In plotting this course of action, the Zimmer/Diermeier administration cynically chose to ally the University with the most anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-democratic, anti-education administration in modern US history. And whatever they think they may have gained comes at high cost, for they have taken actions, made allies, and employed weapons antithetical to the integrity, ideals and mission of any self-respecting academic institution. In the process, they have caused serious damage to this University’s reputation and breached the trust of students and faculty.

This episode is also consistent with others. Take, for example, the administration’s relentless branding of the University as a bastion of “free speech” where right-wing ideologues like Steve Bannon are welcome, while the same “free speech” policies threaten student and non-student demonstrators with disciplinary action and even arrest. Taken as a set, they show a determination to chart policies favored by trustees, wealthy donors, hierarchic elites, and administrative advantage, even when their interests conflict sharply with liberal academic values, the demands of intellectual rigor, or the legitimate rights, needs, and desires of students, faculty, and staff. We are profoundly distressed both by these individual actions and the broader trend.

Yali Amit, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Statistics

Karlos Arregi, Associate Professor of Linguistics

Elizabeth Asmis, Professor of Classics

Leora Auslander, Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor in Western Civilization

Lauren Berlant, George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English

Robert Bird, Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Michael Bourdaghs, Robert S. Ingersoll Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Alida Bouris, Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration

Adrienne Brown, Associate Professor of English

Daniel Brudney, Professor of Philosophy

Matthew M. Briones, Associate Professor of US History

Seth Brodsky, Associate Professor of Music

E. Summerson Carr, Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration

Robert J. Chaskin, Professor and UNESCO Chair for Inclusive Urbanism, Deputy Dean for Strategic Initiatives, School of Social Service Administration

Kyeong-Hee Choi, Associate Professor in Modern Korean Literature

Cathy Cohen, David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science

Jennifer Cole, Professor of Comparative Human Development

Paul Copp, Associate Professor in Chinese Religion and Thought

Whitney Cox, Associate Professor of South Asian Languages and Civilizations

Ryan Coyne, Associate Professor, Divinity School

Jessica H. Darrow, Director of Global Social Development Practice Programs, School of Social Service Administration

Daisy Delogu, Professor of French and Chair, Dept. of Romance Languages

Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of History of Religions

Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies

Shannon Lee Dowdy, Professor of Anthropology

Jacob Eyferth, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and History

Chris Faraone, Frank Curtis Springer and Gertrude Melcher Springer Professor of Classics

Allyson Nadia Field, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies

Norma Field, Robert S. Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor Emerita in Japanese Studies

Cornell Fleischer, Kanunî Süleyman Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies

Anton Ford, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Itamar Francez, Assistant Professor of Linguistics

Susan Gal, Mae and Signey G. Metzl Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology

Adam Getachew, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Michael Geyer, Samuel N. Harper Professor Emeritus of History

W. Clark Gilpin, Margaret E. Burton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Divinity School

Andreas Glaeser, Associate Professor of Sociology

Colleen Grogan, Professor, School of Social Science Administration

Thomas Gunning, Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor of Cinema and Media Studies

Ramón Gutiérrez, Preston & Sterling Morton Distinguished Service Professor of History

Susan Gzesh, Senior Lecturer and Executive Director, Pozen Center for Human Rights

Elaine Hadley, Professor of English

Jesse Russell Hall, Professor Emeritus of Medicine

Sarah Hammerschlag, Associate Professor, Divinity School

Kay Heikkinen, Lecturer in Arabic

Elizabeh Helsinger, John Mathews Manly Distinguished Service Professor Emerita, Depts. of English, Art History, and Visual Arts

Angie Heo, Assistant Professor, Divinity School

Faith Hillis, Associate Professor of History

Denis Hirschfeldt, Professor of Mathematics

Thomas Holt, James Westfall Thompson Distinguished Service Professor of History

James A. Hopson, Professor Emeritus of Organismal Biology & Anatomy

Paola Iovene, Associate Professor in Modern Chinese Literature

Travis Jackson, Associate Professor of Music

Patrick Jagoda, Assistant Professor of English

Janet Johnson, Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Heather Keenleyside, Associate Professor of English

Robert Kendrick, Professor of Music

Michael Kremer, Mary R. Morton Professor of Philosophy

Loren Kruger, Professor of English

Benjamin B. Lahey, Irving B. Harris Professor of Epidemiology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

James Lastra, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, and English

Ben Laurence, Lecturer in Philosophy

Bruce Lincoln, Caroline E. Haskell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History of Religions

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Associate Professor of Latin American Literature

Armando Maggi, Professor of Italian Literature

Patchen Markell, Associate Professor of Political Science

Joseph Masco, Professor of Anthropology

William Mazzarella, Neukom Family Professor and Chair, Dept. of Anthropology

John P. McCormick, Professor of Political Science

Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Theology and History of Christianity

Françoise Meltzer, Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor and Chair, Dept. of Comparative Literature

Paul Mendes-Flohr, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor, Divinity School

W.J.T. Mitchell, Gaylord Donnelley Distinguished Service Professor of English

Daniel R. Morgan, Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Cinema and Media Studies

Anna Mueller, Assistant Professor of Comparative Human Development

Matam P. Murthy, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics

C.M. Naim, Professor Emeritus of South Asian Languages and Civilizations

Constantine Nakassis, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Colm O’Muircheartaigh, Professor, Harris School of Public Policy

David Orlinsky, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Human Development

Julie Ormanski, Assistant Professor of English

Willemien Otten, Professor, Divinity School

Stephan Palmié, Professor of Anthropology

Jennifer Pitts, Associate Professor of Political Science

Cliff Ragsdale, Professor of Neurobiology

Eugene Raikhel, Associate Professor of Comparative Human Development

Srikanth “Chicu” Reddy, Associate Professor of English

François Richard, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Na’ama Rokem, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Marshall Sahlins, Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

Zachary Samalin, Assistant Professor of English

Mario Santana, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Kristen Schilt, Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality

Susan Schreiner, Professor, Divinity School

William Schweiker, Edwar L. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor, Divinity School

William Sewell, Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Depts. of Political Science and History

Holly Shissler, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

William Sites, Associate Professor, Social Service Administration

Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, Assistant Professor of Cinema and Media Studies

Amy Dru Stanley, Associate Professor of History

Howard Stein, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Philosophy and Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science

Josef Stern, William H. Colvin Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

William Tait, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Christopher Taylor, Assistant Professor of English

Elissa Weaver, Professor Emerita of Romance Languages

Lisa Wedeen, Mary R. Morton Professor of Political Science

Christian Wedemeyer, Associate Professor of History of Religions

James Lindley Wilson, Assistant Professor of Political Science

John E. Woods, Professor of History and of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Tara Zahra, Professor of History

Linda Zerilli, Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science

 

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