Statement of Support for the Chicago Teacher’s Union

The Campus Faculty Association at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign expresses its strong solidarity with the Chicago Teachers’ Union in their historic strike for educational equity in the city’s public schools.  At a moment of widespread privatization, CTU has been exemplary in defending the ideal of excellent neighborhood schools, demanding smaller class sizes and nurses, social workers, and libraries throughout the CPS system. At the same time, the teachers have wisely cast their lot with members of the Service Employees Union which includes many of the lowest paid workers in the system. This has brought them strong support not only from unions and educational experts throughout the US, but more importantly, from students and parents in Chicago’s public schools. We wish you quick success in this vital struggle for greater educational democracy.

Executive Committee, Campus Faculty Association,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2018 Social Justice Scholarship DEADLINE EXTENDED

The Campus Faculty Association is proud to announce that we are awarding up to five $1000 scholarships for undergraduate students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to social justice in the community.

To be considered, an undergraduate must be currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the UIUC with at least one more semester of study before graduation. Preference will be given to students who will be involved in social justice activity during the period of the award.

Applications must include a curriculum vitae, a short (250 word) essay describing the student’s involvement in social justice work, and the name and contact information for one reference who can speak to the student’s record in this regard. We are currently accepting applications, and all application materials are due by April 16, 2019. Awards will be announced at the end of the Spring 2019 semester.

Social justice efforts may take many forms, including volunteer and paid work. Although usually performed through the auspices of a non-profit organization, it may also involve a less formally structured activity. Whatever form it may take, such activity is not simply charity work but an effort that seeks to improve the living and working conditions for less advantaged members of the community in concrete and sustainable ways. Examples include work associated with: labor organization and strike support; patients’ rights; civil rights; housing assistance programs like Habitat for Humanity; food pantries and food delivery programs; incarcerated people’s rights and education; early childhood development programs; shelters for homeless people and battered women; immigrant rights; and so on.

Please submit applications to All application materials should be submitted as a single .pdf file.

CFA 2018 Social Justice Scholarship


Upcoming Events on Campus

Mad Creative has invited CFA members to join them for a series of events to discuss the bombardments of trauma news around sexual violence (and other triggering topics) around gender and power. These events were put together by a group of people who are mad and thinking creatively about how to respond. Students, faculty, staff, community, everyone is invited. Please help us spread the word. Poster attached, first event is next Wednesday October 24th 7:15-9pm with pizza in Lucy Ellis Lounge, FLB.

We hope you can make it.


Talk: Learning and Labor – The History of Labor at Illinois

Featuring comments from longtime University of Illinois workers and labor activists, as well as labor historians, this discussion will examine the history of labor on the University campus. The panel is coordinated by Daniel Gilbert, Assistant Professor in the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations – LER. The panelists will include longtime CFA leader Jim Barrett.

This talk is part of the Third Thursday Series and is held in conjunction with the Spurlock Museum’s temporary exhibit Knowledge at Work: The University of Illinois at 150. This exhibit explores the history of campus as a community of educators, researchers, and students engaged in learning, research, and public service. Learn about the contributions of a wide variety of people and groups to campus history and ways the University has changed how it relates to the people it serves. The exhibit runs through December 21, 2018.

Stuart and Ed’s Excellent Adventure

By Jay Rosenstein

This past spring, two U of I Trustees set out on a secret mission to solve the seemingly unsolvable Chief Illiniwek problem once and for all. And they did it. But I doubt they’re happy with the result.

They hoped to return with Chief Illiniwek on a pedestal. Instead, they came back with his head on a stick.

Call it Stuart and Ed’s Excellent Adventure. In May, UI trustees Stuart King and Edward McMillan traveled to Miami, Oklahoma to meet with the ancestors of the original Illinois (not Illini, a made-up name) Tribe, the very Native American people who once lived on the land now occupied by the U of I at Urbana-Champaign. These are the very same people who Illinois’ Chief Illiniwek was created to honor.

It’s interesting how these Illinois Indians were discovered by the UI faithful. For many years, the U of I had declared the Illinois Indians extinct, supposedly wiped out by opposing Indians, thereby leaving the Chief Illiniwek fans guilt free.

Then, in mid 1990, an enterprising Champaign TV news station, looking for a new angle on the Chief controversy, decided to seek out the opinions of the descendants of the Illinois Indians. And low and behold, they were in fact alive. “We tracked them down,” the TV story went. They were listed in the telephone book.

Now living in Oklahoma, what remained of the members of the various tribes that once made up the original Illinois had combined into a single tribe, the Peoria. Today, the Peoria Tribe is the only federally recognized tribe of the original Illinois. The Peoria are the Illinois Indians.

Their existence wasn’t of any particular importance to the Illini faithful until 2005, when the NCAA announced sanctions against member schools with American Indian nicknames or mascots. But the NCAA later carved out an exception, allowing a school’s namesake tribe to decide the ultimate fate of the school’s nickname or mascot, done in recognition of tribal sovereignty. Therefore, as far as the NCAA is concerned, it’s the Peoria, as this area’s namesake tribe, who hold Chief Illiniwek’s fate in their hands.

That set off a constant, relentless lobbying effort (a land grab?) by every imaginable Chief-loving constituency — fans, donors, boosters, alumni, former mascot portrayers – all to gain the Peoria’s endorsement of Chief Illiniwek. The trip by UI Trustees King and McMillan was just the latest effort.

Perhaps they didn’t know any of that history when they set out on their mission. But when they arrived to discuss Illiniwek, the Peoria were prepared.

Instead of endorsing Chief Illiniwek, the Peoria responded by releasing the tribe’s most absolute and damning statement ever regarding Chief Illiniwek.

It reads in part: “The image portrayed by Chief Illiniwek does not … honor the heritage of the Peoria Tribe … and is a degrading racial stereotype that reflects negatively on all American Indian people” (emphasis mine).

It continues, “The Peoria Tribe of Indians does not endorse or sanction … Chief Iliniwek as mascot for the University of Illinois, nor do they have any future plans to rescind the tribal resolution,” and then, just to twist the knife a little deeper, “which was approved by a unanimous vote.”

And so the trustees were sent back home, the door being slammed shut and locked behind them. As far as the Peoria are concerned, discussions about Chief Illiniwek are over, for good.

What that means in Champaign is that any further debate about a future for the Chief is pointless and irrelevant. So are the opinions of the Honor the Chiefs, Save the Chiefs, Students for the Chiefs, and the Councils of Chiefs, along with, especially, the local self-appointed Native spokesmen, who always claim some vague and undocumented American Indian heritage, usually Cherokee (the REAL Cherokees of Oklahoma actually oppose mascots and the Chief). And the U of I’s new eighty-eight page “Critical Conversation Report”? Just more paper. The only opinion that counts is the Peoria, and they’ve made their final statement.

So, if Chief lovers want to hold a mock pow-wow outside the football stadium between the cornhole and the kegs, have at it. And if it makes Illini fans happy to keep throwing money at the Honor the Chief Society, then go ahead. I’m sure they’re happy to take it. But it won’t make a bit of difference.

If you want proof, just ask Trustees King and McMillan. They have Chief Illiniwek’s
Death Certificate. Delivered to them, courtesy of the Peoria. Finally.


Jay Rosenstein is the producer/director of the seminal documentary about American Indian mascots, “In Whose Honor?”, a professor of Media & Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, and a member of the Campus Faculty Association

2018-2019 Officers Elected

With the vote closed and ballots counted, it is my pleasure to announce the Campus Faculty Association officers for the 2018-2019 school year:

President – Dan Gilbert is a long-time member of CFA, and has previously served as both labor representative and vice president. A cultural historian of work and working people in the modern United States, Dan is jointly appointed in the School of Labor & Employment Relations and the Department of History. He earned his Ph.D. in American Studies at Yale University, where he was active in the movement to organize a union of graduate teachers. Before coming to UIUC in 2011, Dan taught for three years at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Vice President – Zsuzsa Gille has been a member of CFA for many years. She is Professor of Sociology and Director of Global Studies. Her research focuses on environmental and food inequalities transnationally, with an emphasis on Eastern Europe. She has served in many administrative roles on campus, including as Faculty Senator. She has supported the GEOs efforts at every stage and is committed to integrating the CFA’s concerns with the Champaign-Urbana community’s wider social concerns.

Treasurer – Jeremiah Heller has been a member of CFA since joining the University of Illinois three years ago, where he is now an assistant professor in the department of mathematics. His wife is also a member of the math department and CFA. Together they have a (super energetic!) 18 month old son running around at home and creating delightful chaos. He looks forward to increasing his service to the community and the CFA by serving as treasurer.

Central Labor Council Representative – Chris Higgins is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, with affiliate appointments in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the Center for Translation Studies. A Resident Associate at Illinois’ Center for Advanced Study, he is co-directing a two-year initiative, “Learning Publics,” examining the role of universities, and in particular the arts and humanities, in public life. His scholarly work seeks to defend the integrity of teaching and learning in the face of instrumentalism, privatization, and other forms of corruption. His book, The Good Life of Teaching: An Ethics of Professional Practice (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) offers one of the first systematic extensions of virtue ethics to questions concerning work and professional identity. He is the chair of the Miller Programs Committee, has served on the University Senate (including a stint on the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure), was closely involved in the Campus Conversation on Undergraduate Education, and served on both the Interdisciplinary Humanities Working Group and the Task Force on Emerging Areas in the Humanities. A member of CFA for 3 years, he has co-chaired the CFA Senate Caucus and served on ExComm. He is currently working with representatives of GEO and students from Urbana High School to explore the formation of a student union at UHS.

We in the Senate Owe Jay Rosenstein an Apology

Bruce Rosenstock

At the last Academic Senate meeting (April 30, 2018), Jay Rosenstein and several other senators (Rahul Raja, Katherine La Barre, Bruce Reznick) brought forward a resolution that would have asked “the Chancellor and Athletic Director to direct all State Farm Center and Memorial Stadium personnel, including UI police, to enforce the no-protest policy equally and by the same standard for all, including enforcing the policy with respect to unauthorized appearances by a Chief Illiniwek character in costume.” A similar, amended resolution was eventually passed.

A community member and UIUC employee, Ms. Breelyn Fay, requested floor privileges to speak in relation to the resolution on the State Farm Center no-protest policy. The result of a vote on granting her privilege to speak was 56 in favor, 55 opposed, and 5 abstentions. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, a non-member can be granted privileges to speak if a majority votes in favor of a motion to permit this privilege. Therefore, Ms. Fay should NOT have been allowed to speak. She did not receive a majority of the votes. However, no one present in the meeting, including the parliamentarian Professor George Friedman, observed that she had not achieved a majority of the vote. Instead, she was permitted to speak.

During her speech, she began in an orderly way. She argued that the “Chief Illinwek” impersonator was not protesting anything, nor were others around him protesting anything. This seemed to be a legitimate point, although one that ultimately needed to be decided by an investigation into how the word “protest” is intended to be understood by the State Farm Center policy document. In effect, her argument supported the resolution since it requires a close study of the policy in order to make sure that it will be applied fairly. But after making this point, Ms. Fay veered into what Robert’s Rules of Order call “personality.” She criticized the professional standards of Jay Rosenstein, his choice of what topics to devote his documentary filmmaker’s skill to, and a number of much more serious accusations. When the video is made available on the Senate website, everyone can watch her tirade for themselves.

Here is where we all in the Senate owe Jay Rosenstein an apology. Not one of us rose to say “point of order” or “will the speaker yield for a question?” We sat quietly as one of our fellow senators was subjected to a personal attack. Perhaps most distressingly, Chancellor Jones, the Chair of the Senate, failed to exercise his prerogative to call the speaker to order. But while the Chancellor and the parliamentarian failed to fulfill their duties under Robert’s Rules, we, the Senators present that day, also failed in our duties. We all owe Jay an apology. I hope that in the future we know better than to sit quietly when a fellow senator’s personality is attacked.

Here is the relevant passage from Robert’s Rules that we all failed to heed. Although Ms. Faye is not a member of the senate, these basic rules should have applied to her.

Article VII (Debate), section 43: In debate a member must confine himself to the question before the assembly, and avoid personalities. He cannot reflect upon any act of the assembly, unless he intends to conclude his remarks with a motion to rescind such action, or else while debating such a motion. In referring to another member, he should, as much as possible, avoid using his name, rather referring to him as “the member who spoke last,” or in some other way describing him. The officers of the assembly should always be referred to by their official titles. It is not allowable to arraign the motives of a member, but the nature or consequences of a measure may be condemned in strong terms. It is not the man, but the measure, that is the subject of debate.

Dear Jay, I am sorry that I did not object during her tirade against you. “It is not the man, but the measure, that is the subject of debate.”

The Chancellor’s Massmail on Free Speech: Who is it Talking About?

Bruce Rosenstock, Professor of Religion

Returning from a meeting of the American Association of Universities (AAU), Chancellor Jones shared a joint statement that was crafted at the meeting in regard to free speech on campus. The statement starts out by saying that people whose views are deemed by some members of the campus community to be “odious” and “disgraceful” should be allowed to express those viewpoints “free of disruption, intimidation, and violence.” It seems like the message is about how to handle a visit from someone like the white nationalist Richard Spencer. It seems to be saying that we should let Richard Spencer speak and not disrupt the event or use violence to prevent it from happening. The point is that we should not let our repulsion at Richard Spencer’s racist views turn us against the principle of free speech. We don’t have to go to his speech and we certainly don’t have to give him an open-minded hearing, but we shouldn’t shout him down or use violence to prevent him from coming to campus. Fair enough.

But is this really what the Chancellor’s message is saying? In the very next paragraph, the message says that “we need to protect our communities from those who seek to promote conflict, rather than conversation, debate, advocacy.” The message then says that “substantive and non-violent speech” deserves to be not only “fully protected” but also “welcomed in our society.” This is a very different recommendation than the first paragraph contained. Now, in this paragraph, we seem to have switched to criticizing people who “promote conflict rather than conversation” and prevent “substantive and non-violent speech” from being “welcomed in our society.” Who are these people and what is the “substantive and non-violent speech” that is not “welcomed in our society”? No one would say that Richard Spencer’s speech is “substantive” or that it should be “welcomed in our society.” Who are the people whose freedom of speech is being threatened by those who “promote conflict rather than conversation.” What is going on here?

Clearly, this new message is taking sides, and is meant to take sides. It’s no longer a message to students that says: “We understand that you believe that Richard Spencer and his ilk advance odious and disgraceful viewpoints, but we shouldn’t respond by infringing on their freedom of speech.” That was the first paragraph. That message is replaced by another message. The second paragraph is basically telling students: “You are not willing to listen to substantive and non-violent viewpoints that differ from yours and you are promoting conflict rather than conversation.” A not-so-subtle shift has happened. Suddenly, the same students who (rightly) find white nationalism “odious” and “disgraceful” are the ones who are blamed for “promoting conflict rather than conversation.” Does the Chancellor want students to have a conversation with white nationalists? Is the speech of Richard Spencer “substantive and non-violent”? Of course, that’s not what the Chancellor is saying. I’m certain that Chancellor Jones would never sit down with Richard Spencer for a conversation about the threat to “white civilization” in America.

So what is going on? This message is crafted to appease the groups that Alan Dershowitz has made it his personal crusade to defend in his “free speech on campus” tours. Dershowitz has said that “college campuses are unsafe for people on the right and Christians and Jews who support Israel” (MSNBC interview, December 2017). The Chancellor’s message is basically putting out the welcome mat for Alan Dershowitz who is visiting next week at the invitation of the Gies College of Business and the Chabad House. In effect, the Chancellor is saying: “Alan, we’re on your side. We want to make our campus safe for people on the right and Christians and Jews who support Israel.”

If the Chancellor were serious about free speech, he would join forces with the AAUP and fight back against the legislation that has passed in eight states and is pending in seven others, including Illinois, that would set up a panel of state officials to oversee freedom of speech at public universities. This “Campus Free Speech” legislation is promoted by the Goldwater Institute, a think tank and legal advocacy group funded in part by the Koch brothers. To learn more about the real threat to free speech on campus and the Goldwater Institute legislative agenda, read the AAUP online journal, Academe, and the blog post on this topic ( The blog post makes that the point that freedom of speech is about fairness of procedures, not balancing the content of right and left speech. Yes, we should protect freedom of speech, but not because “substantive” viewpoints that need to be “welcomed in our society” are not being listened to. That is a political judgment that may or may not be true. We should protect freedom of speech because we adhere to the rule of law, and free speech is enshrined in our Constitution. The Chancellor’s message confuses the reason why we should embrace free speech on campus with the old adage, “There’s always two sides to every question.” The Chancellor’s message is saying, “It’s good to give both sides of a question a fair hearing.” But that’s not why we should support free speech on campus. The old adage is false. There is only one side to the question, “Should we reinstate chattel slavery?” But the other side has the right to express itself because the Constitution grants freedom of speech regardless of its content, so long as it does no immediate harm. The claim that Alan Dershowitz defends, that campuses have favored one side over another (left over right; secularists over Christians; anti-Zionists over Zionists) and that both sides should be “welcomed,” is a political judgment, but it is being promoted under the banner of freedom of speech. This politicizes the law and threatens to undermine the very thing that the Chancellor’s message claims to be defending. We must clearly and loudly commit ourselves to the political and social causes that many of us who are faculty and students at this university believe in. We do not need to welcome viewpoints that we find odious, nor do we need to turn our campus into a neutral space where everyone has his or her time at the microphone so that every viewpoint is balanced by its opposite viewpoint. But we do need to respect the rule of law and the rights granted to all under the Constitution. If we can’t stand up for free speech with the right arguments, we give the supporters of the Goldwater Institute ammunition for their claim that a liberal campus climate is, by definition, one that violates free speech. They will establish government oversight panels (as they have in eight states so far) to make sure that everyone feels “safe” on campus. That’s not good for freedom of speech and it’s not good for our students.

Untapped Revenue or Cheap Labor? Graduate Students and the Future of UIUC

The strike by graduate employees at UIUC is now in its second week. There is no end in sight; according to the union, the administration offered nothing new at the week’s only bargaining session on Sunday afternoon. And so it is back to the picket lines for the members of the Graduate Employees Organization, and for their thousands of campus and community allies.

The strike continues without end in sight because the university administration appears determined to eliminate essential contract language agreed upon in previous negotiations and affirmed in two subsequent arbitration decisions. The language in question ensures that all graduate students hired to perform the work covered by the union contract will receive full compensation, including tuition waivers. This contract language, which graduate employees understandably view as fundamental to their union’s very existence, has proved inconvenient to our university’s administration in a period in which graduate tuition represents a critical area of potential revenue growth. And so here we are.

The weekend’s only new development was our provost’s apparent attempt to sow division between faculty and graduate students. In an email that arrived in faculty inboxes late Friday evening, Andreas Cangellaris attempted to frame the union’s position on tuition waivers as an affront to professorial autonomy. According to our campus’s chief academic officer, the union’s insistence on full compensation for all graduate employees “cedes your authority as faculty members to make the decisions that determine the future of this institution.” It is, of course, impossible to read Cangellaris’s invocation of faculty governance outside the context of recent events on our campus, which only recently emerged from censure by the American Association of University Professors in the wake of the infamous Salaita affair.

But rather than focusing on the UIUC administration’s problematic appeal to the language of shared governance, I want to highlight a contradiction that lies at the very heart of the strike, and indeed of where we find ourselves as an institution. In our efforts to respond to the current economic crises facing public higher education, we have come to rely on graduate students as simultaneously sources of tuition revenue and cheap labor. University of Illinois administrators have identified the expansion of tuition-bearing graduate programs as a top priority for the Urbana campus, and project growing such enrollments by over 6,000 students by 2021. Even as graduate tuition constitutes a growing revenue stream, we continue to rely upon graduate student labor to fulfill our core teaching and research missions. As the GEO strike has made clear, our university cannot function without the work of our graduate students.

The tuition waiver issue encapsulates the deeply contradictory – and profoundly exploited – position that graduate students occupy on our campus. The administration wants the flexibility to manipulate the balance of revenue and labor that can be extracted from this large and growing segment of our campus community. The union insists – rightfully, in my view – that the existing contract language concerning tuition waivers protects individual graduate students from being compelled to serve as primary sources of revenue and indispensible sources of labor in the span of a single semester. We can all agree that graduate students are essential members of the UIUC community. How we treat them now will go a long way toward determining the future of our university.
Dan Gilbert is an assistant professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Vice President of CFA

Why Tuition Waiver Policy Matters

In response to the Provost’s message of 3/2/2018:

Why do tuition waivers matter so much? Access to tuition waivers is part of membership in the bargaining unit, the GEO. And cutting off the eligibility of graduate student workers to be in the bargaining unit means the end of the GEO.

The administration’s claims about tuition waivers have nothing to do with academic governance (which would in any case involve the Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus) and everything to do with creating a campus where graduate students employed to teach and do other work would be excluded from the bargaining unit and from the benefits negotiated by GEO for all such graduate employees. That’s why the GEO position is so simple: salary and a tuition waiver for all graduate employees doing the work of the bargaining unit.

There is nothing in the GEO’s proposed contract language that prevents the university or its units from developing new, flexible, and income-generating graduate programs. The students in those new programs can be warned that they are not permitted to do GEO-equivalent bargaining unit work. But if they are somehow hired to teach or do other GEO-equivalent work at a significant appointment level (currently 25 – 67% appointments) then they must receive equal pay and benefits for equal work. It is entirely the responsibility of the university administration to prevent such students from being hired if the university does not want them to receive tuition waivers.

As the administration has noted, the language of the original side letter on tuition waivers has been subject to legal interpretations based on Illinois employment law. In two separate arbitration decisions, the language of the side letter has been interpreted according to the law. We have been told that “these decisions restrict a department’s ability to reclassify an existing graduate program to a self-supporting program.” The decisions actually preserve the right to collective bargaining and meaningful union representation.

Employers cannot cite shareholder governance, faculty governance, or any other factor to justify reclassifying workers out of a collective bargaining agreement. If they could, most employers with union workers would simply create a new category for these employees and claim they were no longer the kind of employee covered by the existing contract. Colloquially, that’s referred to as “union-busting.” It is a prime example of not bargaining in good faith.

This is stated quite clearly in Illinois labor law. Bargaining in good faith requires each party to accept the legitimacy and continued existence of the other party. Bargaining proposals which would – if accepted – threaten the very existence of the GEO, whether explicitly or implicitly, cannot be considered good faith bargaining. They may in fact be illegal. (See the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, 115 ILCS 5/14; ch. 48, par. 1714.)

These labor arbitration decisions re. tuition waivers in no way affect the role of faculty governance at Illinois, because faculty governance is – logically – limited by state and federal law. We cannot cite faculty governance to support, for example, paying women less than men for the same work: that’s simply illegal. Even if faculty within a department, school, or college sought to exercise their authority to create a union-busting category of graduate student employees outside the GEO, it would still be illegal.

Is the university wasting its time and resources on a bargaining position that won’t stand up in court in any case?

CFA Responds to Friday’s Massmail

This past Friday, Provost Cangellaris sent faculty a message regarding the “side letter” in the GEO collective bargaining agreement. The message was inaccurate and misleading. CFA believes it is critical for faculty to know what is really going on. Attached is a message that more accurately describes the “side letter,” and GEO’s position. I hope you will read the attached message and will share the information as widely as you can. Toward that end, we are looking for faculty willing to distribute hard copies of the attached message to their faculty colleagues – if you are willing to do so, please contact Howard Berenbaum (howard.berenbaum@gmail.com217-372-7612).


Dana Rabin

President, Campus Faculty Association

In his letter to the faculty on March 2, Provost Cangellaris provided his rationale for why the University is opposed to continuing the “side letter” (a copy of the side letter is pasted below). Provost Cangellaris wrote that the language of the side letter has led to decisions that “restrict a department’s ability to reclassify an existing graduate program to a self-supporting program.” He wrote that “the original side letter cedes your authority as faculty members to make the decisions that determine the future of this institution.” He implied that GEO is attempting to prevent “faculty within departments, schools and colleges to exercise their authority and responsibility to make decisions related to their academic programs.” The message conveyed by Provost Cangellaris is inaccurate and misleading.

The GEO does not have the authority to prevent faculty and academic programs from creating new programs or changing existing programs. Decisions regarding the status of graduate programs are made by the departments and reviewed by the Graduate College and the Education Policy Committee before being approved by the Faculty Senate. Ultimately those decisions need to be approved by the IBHE. GEO’s only demonstrated concern is that changes in programs not be used as a means of eliminating tuition waivers for or reducing the wages of students doing the same work of other protected Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants.  The GEO will, however, file grievances if and when changes in programs lead to violations of the collective bargaining agreement (e.g., by eliminating tuition waivers of students doing the same work of other protected Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants).

Here are things Provost Cangellaris is not telling you (a copy of the final paragraph of the last side letter proposed by the University is pasted below).

  • Many Ph.D. programs require more than five years to complete. Those students would not be guaranteed a tuition waiver following their fifth year.
  • The new side letter restricts tuition waivers only to Ph.D. students. All other degrees, including existing terminal degrees (Dance MFA, Landscape Architecture MLA, Art Education EDM, Music DMA, and all Education EDM) would not have a guaranteed tuition waiver.
  • Many doctoral programs require admission and completion of an academic Masters program prior to admission to the doctoral program. These students would not be guaranteed tuition waivers while they are in the Masters program.
  • Many students do not receive an assistantship or fellowship in their first year of the Ph.D. These students would not be guaranteed tuition waivers if they are hired as TAs or GAs in subsequent years.
  • By stipulating which degree programs are guaranteed tuition waivers, the proposed side letter by the Provost cedes your authority as faculty members to make the decisions that determine the future of this institution. These issues should not be included in bargaining with the GEO, but rather should  be addressed by the Faculty Senate.

Final paragraph of the most recent side letter proposed by the University

“All doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree programs will continue to grant tuition waivers. The University will guarantee funding to those students enrolled in a Ph.D. graduate program for a period of five (5) academic years provided that they (1) held a University provided tuition-waiver generating assistantship or fellowship throughout the first year (of the five year period) of their enrollment in that program, (2) remain enrolled in that same program, (3) continue to satisfactorily perform the duties of their assistantships, (4) maintain good academic standing, and (5) continue to make appropriate progress towards obtaining their degree.  The funding provided during that time period may take a variety of forms within the discretion of the University, including tuition-waiver generating graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, pre-professional assistantships, and fellowships.

Current Side letter

During the term of this Agreement (August 16, 2012 to August 15, 2017), Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants will not have their tuition waivers reduced while they hold qualifying assistantships, are in good academic standing, and are making proper progress toward graduation in the program in which they began. (Page 36)