The following is a letter of support from Loyola Chicago Faculty Forward, the non-tenure track faculty union at Loyola University Chicago.
As the leaders of Loyola Chicago Faculty Forward, the non-tenure track faculty union at Loyola University Chicago, we support the walk-out and teach-in planned by Graduate Students United (GSU) at the University of Chicago on June 3 and the demands they are making of the school’s administration.
Even before the start of the coronavirus crisis, working conditions for graduate students, non-tenure track faculty, and staff in higher education were severely deteriorating. Many college and university administrations have abdicated their responsibility of ensuring the well-being of all community members, following a misguided “business” model that focuses on cost-savings without fully accounting for the human impact of these decisions on faculty, graduate students, and staff, as well as the negative repercussions these measures have on graduate and undergraduate education and students. This trend in higher education is part of a wider shift in US and global society of ignoring basic principles of care for other members of society in the name of efficiency and cost-savings.
The coronavirus crisis should have made clear the devastating impact these decisions have made on our society. But too many people in positions of leadership, including the administration at the University of Chicago, are continuing with business as usual, not taking the steps necessary to support all community members. We therefore call on the administration of the University of Chicago to concede to the GSU’s demands, providing graduate students the support they need in this time of crisis.
Janet Fair-Christianson, Adjunct, Modern Languages Emma Feeney, Lecturer, Biology
Deb Goodman, Adjunct, Dance
Sarita Heer, Lecturer, Art History
Diane Jokinen, Lecturer, Biology
Alyson Paige Warren, Adjunct, English
Matt Williams, Lecturer, Sociology/ Global and International Studies