Letter of Support

Dear President Eric Barron and Board of Trustees:

As faculty and staff at Penn State, we spend much of our time working with, teaching, and learning from our graduate workers. Over the years, the concerns of many of our graduate workers have been ignored and devalued. We have seen graduate workers who are, at times, unable to afford adequate standards of living and other basic needs while continually having to fight to have their concerns noticed. Even through these challenges, graduate workers continue to produce exemplary work as teachers, researchers, and students.

We believe that graduate workers deserve a voice at Penn State. A graduate employee union will allow graduate workers to participate more meaningfully in decision-making processes at Penn State, and  is critical to ensuring that their concerns are taken seriously and can procedurally inform university policy. Graduate participation in decision-making is essential to fulfilling Penn State’s mission of improving “the well being and health of individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research, and service.”  To this process, graduate assistants bring not only their own concerns as workers, but also as teachers who actively contribute to improving the education and learning environment of our undergraduate students and as researchers producing cutting-edge research. Giving graduate workers more decision-making power over their own lives would be consistent with Penn State’s values of respect, community, responsibility, and excellence.

This is why we support our graduate workers at Penn State in their efforts to decide their own future through voting on unionization. We urge you to respect this right of the graduate workers by allowing them to organize without encumbrance or fear of retaliation.


Emily Aguilo-Perez, Lecturer, English
Naomi S. Altman, Professor, Statistics
Duane Alwin, Professor, Sociology
Mark Anner, Associate Professor, Labor and Employment Relations
Kevin Bell, Associate Professor, English
Marry Bellman, Lecturer, Labor and Employment Relations
Michael Berube, Director, Institute for the Arts and Humanities
Hester Blum, Associate Professor, English
Mindy Boffemmyer, Undergraduate Director, Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Kathryn Brasier, Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
Erica Brindley, Professor, Asian Studies and History
Michael Burroughs, Senior Lecturer, Philosophy
Bill Carlsen, Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Enrique del Castillo, Distinguished Professor, Industrial Engineering
John Champagne, Professor, School of Humanities and English, Penn State Behrend
Milton Cole, Distinguished Professor, Physics
Wendy Coduti, Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education
Ebony Coletu, Assistant Professor, English
Brian A. Curran, Professor, Art History
Sarah Damaske, Associate Professor, Labor and Employment Relations, Sociology, and Women's Studies
Alan Derickson, Professor, Labor and Employment Relations
William Doan, Professor, Theater
Jonathan Eburne, Associate Professor, Comprative Literature & English
Nergis Erturk, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature
Samar Farage, Senior Lecturer, Sociology
Erica Frankenberg, Associate Professor, Education Policy Studies
Daniel George, Associate Professor, Humanities, College of Medicine
Lori Ginzberg, Professor, History & Women's Studies
Leland Glenna, Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education
Edith Gnanadass, Senior Research Assistant, ISAL/Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy
Sara Grossman, CHI Postdoctoral Fellow, Comparative Literature
Vasant G Honavar, Professor, Information Science and Technology
Kelli Hoover, Professor, Entomology
Charles E. Jones, Tombros Librarian for Classics and Humanities
Josh Inwood, Associate Professor, Geography
Matt Jordan, Associate Professor, Media Studies
Karen Keifer-Boyd, Professor, Art Education & Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Paul M. Kellermann, Senior Lecturer, English
Mindy Kornhaber, Associate Professor, Education Policy Studies
Nicole Lannone, Assistant Professor, Psychology (Fayette)
Brian Lennon, Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature
Janet Lyon, Associate Professor, English
John Marsh, Associate Professor, English
Matthew P. McAllister, Graduate Progrems Chair and Professor, Media Studies
John D. McCarthy, Distinguished Professor, Sociology
Courtney Desiree Morris, Assistant Professor, African American Studies
Jeffrey Nealon, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Philosophy, English
Lise Nelson, Associate Professor, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Geography
Randall Newnham, Professor, Political Science, (Berks)
Mary Beth Oliver, Professor, Media Studies
Simone Oshtoff, Professor, School of Visual Arts
Deirdre O'Sullivan, Professor, Educational Psychology, Counseling, Special Education
Glenn Palmer, Professor, Political Science
David Post, Professor, Education Policy Studies
Esther Prins, Associate Professor, Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
Fred M. Schied, Associate Professor, Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
Lindsey Simon-Jones, Associate Professor, English (Fayette)
Madhu Suri Prakash, Professor, Education Policy Studies
Dr. Curtis Swagler, Staff Physician, University Health Services
Maria Truglio, Associate Professor, Spanish, Italian & Portugese
Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Associate Professor, Film, Video and Media
Susan Russell, Associate Professor, Theatre
Tracy Rutler, Assistant Professor, French and Francophone Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
John Roe, Professor, Mathematics 
Alexis R. Santos, Director of Gradaute Studies, Sociolgy and Criminology
Dana L. Stuchul, Associate Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
Alan Sica, Professor, Sociology and Criminology
Susan Squier, Professor, English and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Sarah J. Townsend, Assistant Professor, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor, Associate Professor, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Ben Wideman, Campus Minster, 3rd Wave Collective
Paul Whitehead, Professor of Practice, Labor and Employment Relations
Lane Windham, Post-Doctoral Scholar, Labor and Employment Relations
Jill M. Wood, Senior Lecturer, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

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