The sun rises behind the Old Capitol in Iowa City on Friday, April 10, 2015. Rand Paul was in town to drum up support after announcing his intention to run for president earlier this week.. (The Daily Iowan/Sergio Flores)

Letter to Editor: Faculty support grad students


We, the undersigned faculty members of the University of Iowa, offer our full support for the graduate-student employees of the University of Iowa and their representatives in COGS. Graduate students are an essential part of the university community and play a crucial role in fulfilling the university’s academic mission.

In recent negotiations, the administration has refused to commit to providing graduate-student employees with quality health-care benefits in their next contract with COGS. In a comment to The Daily Iowan, Graduate College Dean John Keller cited uncertainty regarding potential legislative changes to Chapter 20 of the Iowa Code, the section of state law that governs collective-bargaining rights. The uncertainty, Keller claimed, “puts a substantial damper on our ability to provide some assurances. We don’t know exactly what we’re going to be able to negotiate on and at what level until the state has determined what they’re going to do.” But the expected changes to Chapter 20 would affect only what unions like COGS can negotiate, not what employers can offer. Any uncertainty about future legislative changes has nothing to do with the ethical obligation to treat graduate students fairly. Beyond ethics, denying graduate students crucial benefits would hamstring the university’s efforts to recruit and retain the most talented scholars — efforts crucial to the UI’s mission as an R1 research university.

We’ll state our belief clearly: A university that benefits substantially from the labor and scholarly contributions of its graduate students should provide them with quality, affordable health insurance.


Meredith Alexander, Theater Arts

Saba Rasheed Ali, Psychology

Paula Amad, Cinematic Arts

Wayne Anderson, Rhetoric

Isabel Barbuzza, Art and Art History

Asha Bhandary, Philosophy

Linda Bolton, English

Florence S. Boos, English

Lori Branch, English

Matthew Brown, English

Shea Brown, Physics and Astronomy

Jennifer Buckley, English

Ethan Canin, Writers’ Workshop

Shuang Chen, History

Cinda Coggins-Mosher, Rhetoric

Laurie J. Croft, Teaching and Learning

Jon Crylen, Cinematic Arts

Jovana Davidovic, Philosophy

Patrick Dolan, Rhetoric and GWSS

Lu Ann Dvorak, Rhetoric

Laurel Farrin, Art and Art History

Daniel Fine, Theater Arts

Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz, Communication Studies and GWSS

James Galvin, Writers’ Workshop

Dorothy Wolfe Giannakouros, Rhetoric

Mike Gibisser, Cinematic Arts

James Giblin, History

Matthew Gilchrist, Rhetoric

Loren Glass, English

Megan Gogerty, Theater Arts

David Gooblar, Rhetoric

Colin Gordon, History

Blaine Greteman, English

Naomi Greyser, Rhetoric and English

Matthew Hannah, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

Ali Hasan, Philosophy

Benjamin Hassman, Rhetoric

Timothy Havens, Communication Studies

Sue Hettmansperger, Art and Art History

Adam G. Hooks, English

Perry Howell, Rhetoric

Mark Isham, English and Engineering

Will Jennings, Rhetoric

Anita Jung, Art and Art History

Jiyeon Kang, Communication Studies

Nicholas M. Kelly, Rhetoric

Joni L. Kinsey Fields, Art and Art History

Megan Knight, Rhetoric

Gregory Landini, Philosophy

Brooks Landon, English

Kathy Lavezzo, English

Ellen Lewin, Anthropology and GWSS

Katina T. Lillios, Anthropology

Chloe Livaudais, Nonfiction Writing

Jason Livingston, Cinematic Arts

John Logsdon, Biology

Jennifer Loman, Rhetoric

Teresa Mangum, GWSS and English

Sonja Mayrhofer, Rhetoric

Matt McBride, Rhetoric

John McKerley, History

Kembrew McLeod, Communication Studies

Margaret Murray, Rhetoric

Nandakumar Narayanan, Neurology

Judith Pascoe, English

Hem Paudel, Rhetoric

Katarina Perovic, Philosophy

Michelene Pesantubbee, Religious Studies

Jennifer Burek Pierce, Library and Information Science

Takis Poulakis, Rhetoric

Jacki Rand, History

Mary Ann Rasmussen, English and GWSS

Phillip Round, English

Bernice Santiago, English

Amy Schendel, Music

Morten Schlütter, Religious Studies

Leslie Schwalm, History and GWSS

Carol Severino, Rhetoric

Frederick M. Smith, Religious Studies

James Snitzer, Art and Art History

Harilaos Stecopoulos, English

Joseph Steinitz, Rhetoric

R. Eric Stone, Theatre Arts

Landon Storrs, History

Bonnie S. Sunstein, English and Education

Jenna Supp-Montgomerie, Religious Studies and Communication Studies

Carrie Swanson, Philosophy

Katherine H. Tachau, History

Dana Thomann, Rhetoric

Jonathan T. Thomas, Rhetoric

Mary Trachsel, Rhetoric

Steven Ungar, Cinematic Arts

Stephen Vlastos, History

Stephen Voyce, English

Ashley Wells, Rhetoric

Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, American Studies

Jonathan Wilcox, English

Charles Williams, Rhetoric

Elizabeth Willis, Writers’ Workshop

Michael Andrew Žmolek, History

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