May 23, 2019
To: Thomas Regan, S.J., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Cc: President Jo Ann Rooney; Interim Provost Margaret Faust Callahan; AAUP-Loyola Members From: American Association of University Professors, Loyola University Chicago Chapter
Re: Inaccurate Statement to the Press about Graduate Unionization
Dear Dean Regan:
We write to urge you to correct inaccurate and misleading statements you made to the Loyola Phoenix about last month’s graduate worker strike.
According to the Phoenix, you stated that “[w]e are not going to go up 10% on undergraduate tuition to meet these demands.” The Phoenix reporter confirmed that she accurately transcribed your statement.
As was pointed out to you in a subsequent email, no issue raised by the graduate workers would come remotely close to costing this amount.
Loyola has, according to US News and World Report, 11,420 undergraduates, with tuition of slightly more than $40,000. A 10% increase would thus yield $4,000 per student, which at that number of students would generate $45,680,000. Since there were, according to the certification of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), somewhere under 200 graduate students who teach or otherwise work for the university in the prospective collective bargaining unit, this would work out to be something like $228,400 dollars per graduate worker. Even if one takes into account a substantial tuition discount rate of say 40%, increasing tuition by 10% would yield approximately $137,040 per graduate worker.
We understand that you have been charged with turning back this unionization effort, but there is no factual basis for the assertions you made. And indeed in the context of two academic strikes in thirteen months and the continued refusal of Loyola’s administration to abide by the rulings of the NLRB, we fear that such wildly exaggerated claims can only further exacerbate the acrimony, strife, and labor unrest on our campus. We urge you and our university’s leadership to both correct this assertion, and to insure that your future public comments avoid such polemical misstatement.
Rhys Williams, Professor of Sociology President, Loyola Lakeside AAUP Chapter
Associate Professor of History and Environmental Sustainability AAUP Member