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
Following the arrests last Monday, April 15th of seven LUC graduate students and supporters, the graduate students are staging a one-day walkout on April 24th on the lakeside campus. Walk-out is at 9:00 am. Picket line and noon rally meet in front of Mundelein.
The recent arrests have received widespread media coverage–WGN, WBEZ, InsideHigherEd, The Phoenix, SEIU, etc.. For over two years, LUC administration has refused to recognize their graduate student union, which won the NLRB election in Feb 2017.
Many other prestigious, private universities in major urban areas with higher costs of living have recognized their graduate student unions–Georgetown, University of Chicago, NYU, Brandeis, and the list is rising.
LUC-AAUP demand that LUC administration acknowledge their graduate students’ rights to organize and negotiate, the NLRB decision, and the support of hundreds of students, faculty and local clergy. See LUC Worker Coalition for latest walk-out info.
AAUP-LUC Discussion Points about Provost consolidation decision
Governance: the decision to create one single Provost – the administrative leadership position which most directly impacts faculty, research, and students – was apparently made and without any input from the faculty, much less through consultation with any representative body that could present the concerns of faculty and students. We worry that this decision fits with a broader pattern of unilateral decision-making. Accepting this decision might indicate that faculty and students are comfortable with future unilateral decisions that could deeply shape the nature of our institution
Resource-allocation: Loyola’s different institutions need different types of resources, and make different types of contributions to the institution. We worry that having one single Provost might overly centralized decision-making about which parts of the institution are deserving of which types or resources, and might lead to using criteria are valid for one part of the institution – for instance, bringing in research grants or partnering with private enterprise – to assess the “value” of other parts of the institution. We worry that if narrow and monetarily-driven criteria are used to allocate value and distribute resources, the humanities and social sciences, and the CAS more broadly, might suffer deeply
An institutional shift towards pre-professionalization: the Health Sciences Division and the University, including the College of Arts and Sciences, share the goal of educating Loyola’s students so that they can make positive contributions to our common national and global communities. They, of course, do this with different types of emphases, and encourage the development of different sets of intellectual skills. We worry that a single Provost might further a tendency to view the mission of the University, and the College of Arts and Sciences in particular, through a lens that emphasizes pre-professional skills at the expense of the goal of encouraging life-long critical thinkers and learners.
Impact on undergraduate teaching: while the Health Sciences Division and the University are both committed to educating students, they pursue this mission very differently and serve different types of students. If, as is now possible, the future Provost is someone with a medical or nursing background, who might have little or no direct experience in teaching undergraduates, we worry about how well this person will be able to assess, reward, and shape the teaching of undergraduates, which might negatively effect the College of Arts and Sciences
Internal resource allocation: while creating one single Provost might seem like a cost-savings measure, we worry about what sort of administrative infrastructure this position might require. Overseeing such a large and diverse set of institutions might require the creation of a large administrative infrastructure of Assistant Provosts and other second-tier administrators. We worry that this might, in fact, lead to the needless and costly allocation of the institution’s resources away from teaching and research and towards the expansion of an administrative bureaucracy
Mission: Loyola’s stated mission is to “expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice and faith.” Loyola’s mission also promises a commitment to promoting justice and encouraging values-based leadership. This decision threatens to restrict the mission a more narrow focus on pre-professional training, and seems indicative of an internal leadership style that does not prioritize a collective discussion about the institution’s values.