University of Illinois Grad Students Strike Today

Graduate Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are set to go on strike, starting this morning.

A graduate student in the department of philosophy there wrote in to explain why:

The main issue is that the University administration intends to remove a provision in our contract that guarantees that all graduate employees who meet the typical standards (teaching or graduate assistant with 25-67% appointment, in good standing, etc.) will receive tuition waivers. They want to replace this with an “eligibility” that would allow management to reserve “the right to determine and modify the graduate program tuition waiver designations.”

See news accounts of the planned strike at The Chicago Tribune and the Champaign Urbana News-Gazette.

My graduate student correspondent adds:

Undergraduate advisers who are recommending programs to their students may be interested to know that the administration here intends to modify the tuition waivers guarantee. They will be able to do so if we lose this fight. Your readers can help by reaching out to the Provost at [email protected] and telling him how badly this will effect graduate education (and undergraduate education, for that matter!) at the University of Illinois. Our department is very supportive (see this letter of support for example) but the administration is threatening to undermine the possibility of graduate education here anyway.

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