On the morning of February 23, 2018 executive vice-provost David Nirenberg sent out an email to the UChicago community announcing what he termed a “collective self-study” in the coming months meant to “sustain and improve the possibilities for graduate student life, education, and research.”
It seems the message elicited some skepticism. Perhaps because there was no clear timeline, nor discussion of accountability or decision-making authority. Perhaps because we’ve seen other such inquiries come and go with miminal change. And perhaps because the message came from someone who publicly testified, less than a year ago, that “in a class of 19, having someone grading is not a relief to me” (see pages 202-203 of the May 19th transcripts of last year’s NLRB hearing).
But we agree with Dr. Nirenberg that our views as graduate students (and as university employees) are important. If you think so too, you don’t need to wait for the admin’s process to begin. GSU’s bargaining priorities survey is already underway, and it stays open until Friday, March 1. If you are a graduate employee on this campus and haven’t received an email about it yet, you can request a secure, confidential survey link here.
You can let your concerns be known RIGHT NOW–and we’re pretty confident that we ask questions that the administration would rather avoid.