Letter of Support for Right of Contingent Faculty to Unionize

Robert J. Zimmer, President
University of Chicago
Edward H. Levi Hall
5801 South Ellis Avenue, Suite 501
Chicago, IL 60637

Eric D. Isaacs, Provost
The University of Chicago
Edward H. Levi Hall
5801 South Ellis Avenue, Suite 502
Chicago, IL 60637

Joseph Neubauer, Chairman
University of Chicago Board of Trustees
5801 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Dear Sirs:

We, the undersigned tenured and tenure-track faculty at the University of Chicago, support the right of our contingently-employed faculty colleagues to form a union.

We affirm the statement of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) that “faculties at both public and private institutions are entitled, as professionals, to choose by an election or comparable informal means to engage in collective bargaining in order to ensure effective faculty governance” (Statement on Collective Bargaining, AAUP POLICY DOCUMENTS AND REPORTS 259 (2006 ed.)). Moreover, we believe that this is consistent with the principles stated in the University of Chicago’s “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression” issued in January of this year.

Thus, we ask that the University of Chicago administration remain neutral and not use university funds or other institutional resources to oppose the unionization effort. We ask that the University not employ any union avoidance consultants. Any communications from University personnel speaking in their administrative capacities about the unionization effort should not discourage faculty participation in or support for the initiative. Additionally, we ask that the administration make clear to administrative personnel that a contingent faculty member’s decision to invoke her right to organize can play no role in making personnel decisions about that faculty member, and that the University will tolerate neither intimidation nor retaliation against contingent faculty who invoke their right to organize.

Finally, should the required majority of contingent faculty at the University of Chicago vote in favor of unionization we urge the administration of the University of Chicago to recognize the AAUP’s position on the question of collective bargaining, as it represents a nationally recognized “best practice” for university governance.


1. Willemien Otten, Professor, Divinity
2. Kenneth Warren, Professor, English
3. Anton Ford, Assistant Professor, Philosophy
4. Christopher Taylor, Assistant Professor, English
5. William Sites, Associate Professor, SSA
6. Ben Laurence, Assistant professor, Philosophy
7. Lauren Berlant, Professor, English
8. Adrienne Brown, Assistant Professor, English
9. Constantine Nakassis, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
10. Amy Dru Stanley, Associate Professor, History
11. Amy Lippert, Assistant Professor, History
12. Leora Auslander, Arthur and Joann Rasmussen Professor of Western Civilization in the College and the Department of History, History
13. Andreas Glaeser, Professor, Sociology
14. Bruce Lincoln, Caroline E. Haskell Distinguished Service Professor, History of Religions
15. Cornell Fleischer, Professor, History and NELC
16. Denis Hirschfeldt, Professor, Mathematics
17. Julie Orlemanski, Assistant Professor, English
18. Daniel Morgan, Associate Professor, Cinema and Media Studies
19. Kimberly Hoang, Assistant Professor, Sociology
20. Matthew Briones, Associate Professor, History
21. Jason Bridges, Associate Professor, Philosophy
22. William Sewell, Professor Emeritus, Political Science and History
23. Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, Assistant Professor, Cinema and Media Studies
24. Ada Holly Shissler, Associate Professor, NELC
25. Robert Kendrick, Professor, Music
26. Jonathan Levy, Associate Professor, History
27. Susan Schreiner, Professor , Divinity School
28. Andrei Pop, Associate Professor, Social Thought
29. Moishe Postone, Professor, History
30. John Woods, Professor, History/NELC
31. Janet Johnson, Professor, NELC
32. Benjamin Morgan, Assistant Professor, English
33. Itamar Francez, Assistant Professor, Linguistics
34. Julie Saville, Associate Professor, History
35. William J. T. Mitchell, Professor, English & Art History
36. Peter White, Professor, Classics
37. Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Associate Professor, RLL
38. Mario Santana, Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
39. Elizabeth Helsinger, Professor Emerita, English
40. Timothy Campbell, Assistant Professor, English
41. Daisy Delogu, Professor, RLL
42. Kaley Mason, Assistant Professor, Music
43. Armando Maggi, Professor, RLL
44. Melvin Butler, Assistant Professor, Music
45. Michael Dawson, Professsor, Political Science
46. Norma Field, Professor emerita, EALC
47. Elaine Hadley, Professor, English
48. Heather Keenleyside, Assistant Professor, English
49. Patchen Markell, Associate Professor , Political Science
50. Jennifer Pitts, Associate Professor, Political Science
51. Travis A. Jackson, Associate Professor, Music
52. Thomas C Holt, Distinguished Service Professor, History
53. Susan Lambert, Associate Professor, Social Service Administration
54. Timothy Harrison, Assistant Professor, English
55. Candace Vogler, Professor, Philosophy
56. William Tait, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy
57. Miguel Martinez, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
58. Steven Collins, Chester D. Tripp Professor in the Humanities, South Asian Languages and Civilizations
59. John McCormick, Professor, Political Science
60. Daniel Brudney, Professor, Philosophy
61. Johanna Ransmeier, Assistant Professor, History
62. Victoria Saramago, Assistant Professor, RLL
63. William Schweiker, Professor, Divinity, Divinity School and the College
64. Janet Johnson, Professor, NELC
65. Martha Ward, Associate Professor, Art History
66. Srikanth Reddy, Associate Professor, English
67. Joseph Masco, Professor, Anthropology
68. Paola Iovene, Associate Professor, EALC
69. Faith Hillis, Assistant Professor, History
70. Tara Zahra, Professor, History
71. Michael Rossi, Assistant Professor, History
72. Chiara Cordelli, Assistant Professor, Political Science
73. Shannon Dawdy, Associate Professor, Anthropology
74. Hillary Chute, Associate Professor, English
75. Jacob Eyferth, Associate Professor, EALC
76. Elizabeth Asmis, Professor, Classicd
77. Kyeong-Hee Choi, Associate Professor, EALC
78. Judith Farquhar, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology
79. Larissa Brewer-García, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
80. Yali Amit, Professor, Statistics
81. Michael Kremer, Mary R. Morton Professor, Philosophy
82. Laura Gandolfi, Assistant Professor, RLL
83. Howard Stein, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy
84. Christopher Kennedy, Professor, Linguistics
85. Emily Osborn, Associate Professor, History
86. Mark Miller, Associate Professor, English
87. Maria Anna Mariani, Assistant Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
88. Kathleen Belew, Assistant Professor, History
89. Na’ama Rokem, Assistant Professor, NELC
90. Alireza Doostdar, Assistant Professor, Divinity
91. Fred Donner, Professor, NELC and Oriental Institute
92. Jan Goldstein, Norman & Edna Freehling Profesor, History
93. Hakan Karateke, Professor, NELC
94. Nancy Munn, Professor Emeritus, Anthropology
95. Marco Garrido, Assistant Professor, Sociology
96. Richard Neer, Professor, Art History
97. Linda Zerilli, Professor, Political Science
98. Lawrence Rothfield, Associate Professor, English
99. Melvin Rothenberg, professor Emeritus, Mathematics
100. Elissa Weaver, Professor Emerita, Romance Languages & Literatures
101. Michael I. Allen, Associate Professor, Classics
102. Helma Dik, Associate Professor, Classics
103. Alison James, Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures
104. Clifford Ando, Professor, Classics
105. Christian Wedemeyer, Associate Professor, Divinity School
106. Whitney Cox, Associate Professor, South Asian Languages and Civilizations
107. Jonathan Hall, Distinguished Service Professor, History
108. Ralph Austen, Emeritus Professor, History
109. Paul Mendes-Flohr, Professor, Divinity
110. Rebecca Hasselbach-Andee, Associate Professor, NELC
111. Maggie Williams, Associate Professor, Art
112. Gerald Rosenberg, Associate Professor, Political Science
113. Aden Kumler, Associate Professor, Art History
114. Joseph Spagna, Associate Professor, Biology
115. Françoise Meltzer, Professor, Comparative Literature, Divinity
116. Orit Bashkin, Professor, NELC
117. Thibaut d’Hubert, Assistant Professor, SALC
118. Lisa Wedeen, Professor, Political Science
119. Aaron Turkewitz, Professor, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology
120. Jeffrey Stackert, Associate Professor, Divinity School
121. Gary Herrigel, Professor, Political Science
122. Charles Payne, Professor, School of Social Service Administration
123. Robert Chaskin, Professor, School of Social Service Administration
124. Andrew Drucker, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
125. Tahera Qutbuddin, Associate Professor, NELC
126. Laura Weinrib, Assistant Professor, Law School