University of Iowa faculty supports students of COGS

Last Updated on 02-24-2017 (to add your name, e-mail [email protected]). This letter was previously published in the Press-Citizen on February 10, 2017 (link)

To The Editor:

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 (the Campaign to Organize Graduate Students). 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, Theatre Arts
Saba Rasheed Ali, Psychology
Paula Amad, Cinematic Arts
Wayne Anderson, Rhetoric
Isabel Barbuzza, Art and Art History
Margaret Beck, Anthropology
Asha Bhandary, Philosophy
Cinzia Blum, French and Italian
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
Ryan Cobb, Philosophy
Cinda Coggins-Mosher, Rhetoric
Laurie J. Croft, Teaching and Learning
Jon Crylen, Cinematic Arts
Roxanna Curto, French and Italian
Jovana Davidovic, Philosophy
Patrick Dolan, Rhetoric and GWSS
Lu Ann Dvorak, Rhetoric
Laurel Farrin, Art and Art History
Daniel Fine, Theatre 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, Theatre Arts
David Gooblar, Rhetoric
Colin Gordon, History
Blaine Greteman, English
Naomi Greyser, Rhetoric and English
David V. Hagan, French and Italian
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
Kiyomi Kawakami, Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Meena Khandelwal, Anthropology and GWSS
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
Margot Livesey, Writers’ Workshop
Jason Livingston, Cinematic Arts
John Logsdon, Biology
Jennifer Loman, Rhetoric
Philip Lutgendorf, Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Teresa Mangum, GWSS and English
Luis Martín-Estudillo, Spanish and Portugese
Sonja Mayrhofer, Rhetoric
Matt McBride, Rhetoric
AmyRuth McGraw, American Sign Language Program
John McKerley, History
Kembrew McLeod, Communication Studies
Margaret H. Mills, Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures
Margaret Murray, Rhetoric
Nandakumar Narayanan, Neurology
Anne Marie Nest, Theatre Arts
Judith Pascoe, English
Hem Paudel, Rhetoric
Katarina Perovic, Philosophy
Michelene Pesantubbee, Religious Studies
Jennifer Burek Pierce, Library and Information Science
Takis Poulakis, Rhetoric
Roland Racevskis, French and Italian
Jacki Rand, History
Mary Ann Rasmussen, English and GWSS
Ana M. Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Spanish and Portugese
Phillip Round, English
Bernice Santiago, English
Amy Schendel, Music
Lisa Schlesinger, Theatre Arts
Morten Schlütter, Religious Studies
Leslie Schwalm, History and GWSS
Rosemarie Scullion, French and Italian
Carol Severino, Rhetoric
Frederick M. Smith, Religious Studies
James Snitzer, Art and Art History
Harilaos Stecopoulos, English
Joseph Steinitz, Rhetoric
David Stern, Philosophy
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
Emily Wentzell, Anthropology
Deborah Elizabeth Whaley, American Studies
Jonathan Wilcox, English
Charles Williams, Rhetoric
Rachel Marie-Crane Williams, GWSS
Elizabeth Willis, Writers’ Workshop
Jon Winet, Art and Art History
Michael Andrew Žmolek, History