Faculty Letter of Support

Dear President Barron, Provost Jones, and Dean Vasilatos-Younken,

As you know, on February 9, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ruled that Penn State graduate students have the right to form a union. Accordingly, in the near future, the Coalition of Graduate Employees will participate in an election to be held by the PLRB.

We write as your colleagues– and in a spirit of collegiality– to ask that Penn State drop its needless and counterproductive opposition to the efforts of the CGE. The right of graduate students at public universities to vote for unionization and engage in collective bargaining is widely recognized, and we believe there is nothing to be gained by pretending that our graduate students are not also employees of Penn State who do valuable work– in research, teaching, and service– for the University.

We note for example that at the University of Michigan, graduate students formed the Graduate Employees’ Organization in 1974– more than forty years ago. In that time, GEO has not harmed faculty-student relations in any way, and certainly has not prevented Michigan from maintaining its status as one of the nation’s most distinguished public universities. Since we benchmark against Michigan in so many ways, perhaps it is worth considering whether we might not emulate them in this respect as well.

We therefore hope that Penn State will honor the results of the vote, whatever it may be, and we pledge to continue to work together to make Penn State the best university it can be.

Sincerely yours,


Alan Derickson, Labor and Employment Relations
Alan Sica, Sociology
Alexis R. Santos-Lozada, Sociology
Amira Rose Davis, History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies 
Anne C. Rose, History and Religious Studies
Antone Aboud, Labor and Employment Relations
Carrie Jackson, German and Linguistics
Charles E. Jones, Arts & Humanities Library
Charles L Lumpkins, Labor and Employment Relations
Cynthia Young, African American Studies and English
Dan Letwin, History
Daniel George, Humanities, College of Medicine
Darlene Clark, Nursing
David Gamson, Education Policy Studies
David Loewenstein, English
Debra Hawhee, English and Communication Arts and Sciences
Derek Fox, Astronomy & Astrophysics
Doug Allen, Labor and Employment Relations
Elaine Farndale, Labor and Employment Relations
Elizabeth Kadetsky, English
Erica Frankenberg, Education Policy Studies
Erin Heidt-Forsythe, Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Political Science
Erik Solevad Nielsen, Sociology
Esther Prins, Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
Gabeba Baderoon, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies
Gail Boldt, Education
Gary Adler, Sociology 
Gary King, Biobehavioral Health
Glenn Palmer, Political Science
Gretchen Kuldau, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Hester Blum, English
Janet Lyon, English
John Christman, Philosophy, Political Science, and Women’s Studies
John D. Holst, Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
John Marsh, English
John McCarthy, Sociology
Jonathan E. Abel, Comparative Literature and Asian Studies
Jonathan E. Brockopp, History and Religious Studies
Joshua Inwood, Geography and the Rock Ethics Institute. 
Kai Schafft, Education Policy Studies
Katherine Maich, Labor and Employment Relations
Kimberley Thomas, Geography
Léa Pessin, Population Research Institute
Lise Nelson, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Geography
Lori Ginzberg, History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Marc Friedenberg, Information Science & Technology
Maria Beamond, Labor and Employment Relations
Mark Anner, Labor and Employment Relations
Mark Gough, Labor and Employment Relations
Mark Major, Political Science
Mary Bellman, Labor and Employment Relations
Matt Jordan, Media Studies
Matthew P. McAllister, Film-Video and Media Studies, Communication Arts and Sciences, & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Michael Berube, English
Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Film-Video and Media Studies, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies
Mike Eracleous, Astronomy & Astrophysics
Milton Cole, Physics
Nan Elizabeth Woodruff, African American Studies and History
Nicholas J. Enoch, Labor and Employment Relations
Nicolás Sacco, Population Research Institute
Paul Clark, Labor and Employment Relations
Paul M. Kellermann, English
Paul Whitehead, Labor and Employment Relations
Peter Buckland, Penn State’s Sustainability Institute
Randall Newnham, Political Science
Rebecca Tarlau, College of Education
Rena Torres Cacoullos, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Rosa Eberly, Communication Arts & Sciences, English
Sajay Samuel, Accounting
Samar Farage, Sociology 
Sarah Damaske, Labor and Employment Relations
Sarah K. Rich, Art History
Tim McNellis, Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology
Zack Furness, Communications

To add your name email cge.psu.media@gmail.com
You can view our previous faculty letter of support here.