If you agree with the principles of our campaign, please add your name to a public letter signed by UW faculty. Scroll to end of the letter on the right to add your name.


University of Washington, Bothell

Robertson Allen, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Christian Anderson, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Atkinson, Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Wayne Au, Associate Professor, School of Educational Studies

Constantin Behler, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Dan Berger, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Aeron Bergman, Senior Artist in Residence, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Lauren Berliner, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Breanna Binder, Part-Time Lecturer, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Karena Birk, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Tasha Buttler, Part-Time Lecturer, Center for University Studies and Programs

S. Charusheela, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Charlie R. Collins, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Steven Collins, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering & School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Cheryl L. Cooke, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies

Johanna Crane, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Colin Danby, Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Raissa DeSmet, Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Jody Early, Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies

Robert Farkasch, Part-Time Lecturer, Center for University Studies and Programs

Brandon Finley, Full-Time Lecturer, Physical Science Division, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Brandon Fleming, Lecturer, Business

Tyler Fox, Studio Director and Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Matthew Gliboff, Part-Time Lecturer, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Michael Goldberg, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

David Goldstein, Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Ben Gonio, Lecturer, Center for University Studies and Programs

Cheryl Gordon, Teaching Associate, School of Educational Studies

Trevor Griffey, Lecturer, American & Ethnic Studies

Kim Gunnerson, Full-Time Lecturer, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Nicole Hoover, Part-Time Lecturer, School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Dan Jacoby, Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Kristine E. Kellejian, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences & Center for University Studies and Programs

Nora Kenworthy, Assistant Professor, Nursing and Health Studies

Bruce Kochis, Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Ron Krabill, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Scott Kurashige, Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Kristy Leissle, Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Minda Martin, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Barry Minai, Part-Time Lecturer, Center for University Studies and Programs & Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Jason Morse, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Jed Murr, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Kathleen Noble, Professor, Consciousness Studies, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Alice Pederson, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Ian Porter, Lecturer and Learning Technologies Specialist, CUSP and Learning Technologies

Alejandra Salinas, Senior Artist in Residence, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Julie Shayne, Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Mira Shimabukuro, Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Janelle Silva, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Louise Spiegler, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and CUSP

Eric Stewart, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

David A. Symon, Part-Time Instructor, Physical Science Division of STEM

Robert Trumbull, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Robert J. Turner, Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Camille Walsh, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Barbara Waxman, Part-Time Lecturer, Education

 

University of Washington, Seattle

Christopher Adolph, Associate Professor of Political Science, Adjunct Associate Professor of Statistics, and Core Faculty of the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences

Gunnar Almgren, Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Nancy Amidei, Emeritus Faculty, School of Social Work

Beatrice Arduini, Assistant Professor, French and Italian Studies

Steve Badanes, Professor, Architecture

Mary Lou Balassone, Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Silas R. Beane,Associate Professor, Physics

Susan Benson, Full-Time Lecturer, Near Eastern Languages & Civilization

Davinder L. Bhowmik, Associate Professor, Asian Languages & Literature

Rick Bonus, Associate Professor, American Ethnic Studies

Branden Born, Associate Professor, Urban Design and Planning

Patti (Patricia) Brandt, Professor Emerita, School of Nursing

Paul Brass, Professor Emeritus, Political Science and International Studies

René Bravmann, Professor Emeritus, Art History

Clare Bright, Part-Time Lecturer, Honors Program

Rachele Brooks, Research Assistant Professor, Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Callie Burt, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Jeanette Bushnell, Part-Time Lecturer, Comparative History of Ideas

Joseph Butwin, Associate Professor, English

Megan Callow, Lecturer, English

Elena Campbell, Associate Professor, History

Rachel Chapman, Associate Professor, Anthropology

Eva Cherniavsky, Professor, English

Kyle Crowder, Professor, Sociology

Sara Curran, Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies, Director of Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

William Daniell, Associate Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Nate DeFelice, Clinical Instructor, General Internal Medicine, School of Medicine

James DeLong, Lecturer, School of Social Work

Ethan Devinatz, Associate Professor, Mathematics

Purnima Dhavan, Associate Professor, History

Galya Diment, Professor, Slavic Languages and Literatures

Leanne Do, Lecturer, School of Social Work

Sarah Elwood-Faustino, Professor, Geography

Andrew Feld, Associate Professor, English

Víctor Fernández-Mallat, Full-Time Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Raya Fidel, Professor Emerita, Information School

Abraham Flaxman, Assistant Professor, Global Health

Lauro Flores, Professor and Chair, American Ethnic Studies; Adjunct Professor, Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Kirsten Foot, Professor, Communication

Lance Forshay, Senior Lecturer, American Sign Language Minor Studies, Dept. of Linguistics

Thomas Foster, Professor, English

Megan Francis, Assistant Professor, Political Science

Paul Franco, Acting Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Julia Freeman, Visiting Lecturer, School of Art

S. Malia Fullerton, Associate Professor, Bioethics and Humanities

Amelia Gavin, Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Geneva Gay, Professor, Education

Anthony Geist, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Christoph Giebel, Associate Professor, History & Jackson School of International Studies

Maria Gillman, Principal Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Sarah Gimbel, Assistant Professor, Family and Child Nursing

Susan Glenn, Professor, History

Angelina Godoy, Professor, Jackson School of International Studies & Law, Societies, and Justice

Steven Golbeck, Acting Assistant Professor, Applied Math

Sara Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Sharona E. Gordon, Professor, Physiology and Biophysics

Bernardo Goulart, Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology

Lauren K. Graham, Lecturer, Psychology

Mira Green, Lecturer, History

James Gregory, Professor, History

John Griffith, Associate Professor, English

Stephen Groening, Assistant Professor, Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media Studies

Peter Guttorp, Professor, Statistics

Amy Hagopian, Associate Professor, Health Services and Global Health

Tom Halverson, Senior Lecturer/Director, College of Education

Zev Handel, Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Literature

Jonathan Happ, Part-Time Lecturer, School of Art

Gillian Harkins, Associate Professor, English

Alexandra Harmon, Professor, American Indian Studies

Steve Hauschka, Professor, Biochemistry

Nicholas Heer, Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization

Alyssa Hellrung, Part-time Lecturer, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Marie Hempel, Visiting Lecturer, Germanics

Susan Herring, Professor, Oral Health Sciences and Orthodontics

Tad Hirsh, Associate Professor, School of Art History and Design

Christopher Hoffman, Professor, Mathematics

Naraelle Hohensee, Part-Time Lecturer, Comparative History of Ideas

Keith A. Holsapple, Professor, William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics

Philip Howard, Professor, Communication

Habiba Ibrahim, Associate Professor, English

Christine Ingebritsen, Professor, Scandinavian Studies

Ilmari Ivaska, Visiting Lecturer, Scandinavian Studies

Lars B. Jenner, Lecturer, Scandinavian Studies

Lisa M. Jilk, Lecturer, MEP Education Outreach, College of Education

Jay Johnson, Professor Emeritus, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences

Odai Johnson, Professor, School of Drama

Christopher Jones, Professor, Jackson School of International Studies

Moon-Ho Jung, Associate Professor, History

Ira Kantrowitz-Gordon, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Aaron Katz, Principal Lecturer, Health Services, Global Health, and Law

Michael G. Katze, Professor, Microbiology, School of Medicine

Donally Kennedy, Part-Time Lecturer, Spanish & Portuguese

Soohee Kim, Senior Lecturer, Asian Languages & Literature

Neal Koblitz, Professor, Mathematics

Kyle Korynta, Visiting Lecturer, Scandinavian Studies

Jean Kruzich, Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Henry Laufenberg, Senior Lecturer, English

Terje Leiren, Professor, Scandinavian Studies

David Stern Levitt, Clinical Instructor, General Internal Medicine, School of Medicine

Jordan Lewis, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work

Max Lieblich, Associate Professor, Mathematics

Thomas Lockwood, Professor, English

Celia Lowe, Associate Professor, Anthropology

José Antonio Lucero, Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies; Chair, Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Edward Mack, Associate Professor, Asian Languages & Literature

Louisa Mackenzie, Associate Professor, French and Italian Studies

Jane Macy, Lecturer, School of Social Work

Scott Magelssen, Associate Professor, School of Drama

Sudhir Mahadevan, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Cinema, and Media

Colin Marshall, Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Carrie Matthews, Full-Time Lecturer, English

Jamie Mayerfeld, Professor, Political Science

Conor Mayo-Wilson, Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Claudio Mazzola, Full-Time Senior Lecturer, French and Italian Studies

William McGovern, Professor, Mathematics

Robert McNamara, Principal Lecturer, English

Anna Melby, Senior Lecturer, Physiology and Biophysics

Ann Mescher, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Stefka Mihaylova, Assistant Professor, Drama

Shawn L. Mincer, Research Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Part-time Lecturer, School of Social Work

Katharyne Mitchell, Professor, Geography

Scott Montgomery, Affiliate Faculty, Jackson School of International Studies

Diane Morrison, Professor, School of Social Work

Suhanthie Motha, Assistant Professor, English

Polly Myers, Full-Time Lecturer, History

Tamara Myers, Part-Time Lecturer, Comparative History of Ideas

Kerry Naish, Professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Studies

Hwasook Nam, Associate Professor, History and Jackson School of International Studies

Linda Nash, Associate Professor, History

Gina Neff, Associate Professor, Communication

Lauren Hartzell Nichols, Part-Time Lecturer, Philosophy

Gail Nomura, Associate Professor, American Ethnic Studies

Andrea Otanez, Lecturer, Communication

Michael Partington, Artist in Residence, Music

Cynthia Pearson, Research Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Michael Perez, Lecturer, Anthropology

Karen Petersen, Senior Lecturer, Biology

James Pfeiffer, Professor, Global Health and Anthropology

Gerald Pollet, Clinical Instructor, Health Services

Karen Posner, Research Professor, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Ann Loveitt Pulkkinen, Affiliate Instructor, School of Social Work

Sarah Quinn, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Scott Radnitz, Associate Professor, International Studies

Vicente Rafael, Professor, History

Annie Raymond, Acting Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Chandan Reddy, Associate Professor, English

Sonnet Retman, Associate Professor, American Ethnic Studies; Adjunct Associate Professor, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, and English

Douglas Rizzolo, Research Associate, Mathematics

Nathan Roberts, Part-Time Lecturer, History

Jessica Robles, Lecturer, Communication

Ileana Rodriguez-Silva, Associate Professor, History

Sean Rundell,  Acting Assistant Professor, Rehab Medicine

Alice Ryan, Lecturer, School of Social Work

Elizabeth Salas, Associate Professor, American Ethnic Studies

Paul Sampson, Research Professor, Statistics

Albert Sbraigia, Associate Professor, French and Italian Studies

Pepper Schwartz, Professor, Sociology

Laurie Sears, Professor, History

Noah S. Seixas, Professor, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Kenneth Sherr, Associate Professor, Global Health

Stephanie Smallwood, Associate Professor, History

Sue Sohng, Associate Professor, School of Social Work

Matthew Sparke, Professor, Geography and International Studies

Margaret Spratt, Lecturer, Communication

Heather Stansbury, Extension Lecturer, English

Henry Staten, Professor, English

Marianne Stecher, Professor, Scandinavian Studies

Cynthia Steele, Professor, Comparative Literature, Cinema, and Media

William Stein, Professor, Mathematics

Duane Storti, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Bert Stover, Research Scientist, Family Medicine Research Section & Clinical Assistant Professor, Health Services

Gail Stygall, Professor, English

Stephen Sumida, Professor, American Ethnic Studies

Lynn Thomas, Professor, History

Phillip Thurtle, Associate Professor, Creative History of Ideas

John E. Toews, Professor, History and Comparative History of Ideas

Jonathan S. Tomhave, Part-Time Lecturer, American Indian Studies

Pimone Triplett, Associate Professor, English

Jack Turner III, Associate Professor, Political Science

Geoffrey Turnovsky, Associate Professor, French and Italian

James Tweedie, Associate Professor, Comparative Literature, Cinema, and Media

Charity Urbanski, Senior Lecturer, History

Ausra Valanciauskiene, Visiting Professor, Scandinavian Studies

Ann Vander Stoep, Associate Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Epidemiology

Manka Varghese, Associate Professor, College of Education

Helene Vilavella Collins, Senior Lecturer, French and Italian Studies

Alberto Vilchez Veleda, Visiting Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Adam Warren, Associate Professor, History

Julie l. Watts, Part-Time Lecturer, School of Social Work

Nathaniel Weston, Part-Time Lecturer, History

Nancy White, Part-Time Lecturer, Comparative History of Ideas

Ellwood Wiggins, Assistant Professor, Germanics

Scott Winn, Part-Time Lecturer, School of Social Work

Barry Witham, Professor Emeritus, Drama

Joanne Woiak, Full-Time Lecturer, Disability Studies

Robert Wood, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences

Richard Wright, Professor, Linguistics

Ekin Yasin, Lecturer, Communication

Shirley Yee, Professor, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

John Zahorjan, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Christina Zubelli, Teaching Associate, Spanish and Portuguese

 

University of Washington, Tacoma

Julia Aguirre, Associate Professor, Education

Dolores Alcaide Ramirez, Associate Professor, Hispanic Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Adam Arnold, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

John Bair, Lecturer, The Institute of Technology

Vaughn Bell, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Anju Bhargava, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Elizabeth Bruch, Assistant Professor, Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

David Brumbach, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Eric Bugyis, Full-Time Lecturer, Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Alison Cardinal, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Kima Cargill, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Caitlin Carle, Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Emily Cilli-Turner, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Jeff Cohen, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice, Social Work

Jane Compson, Assistant Professor, Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Corey Cook, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Sergio Davalos, Associate Professor, MIS, Milgard School of Business

Kim Davenport, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Jeremy Davis, Full-Time Lecturer, Science and Math, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Linda Dawson, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Tarna Derby-McCurtain, Senior Lecturer, Criminal Justice

Stephen Detray, Senior Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Yonn Dierwechter, Professor, Urban Studies

Joanne Clarke Dillman, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Theodora A. Drescher, Part-Time Lecturer, Social Work  

Robin Evans-Agnew, Assistant Professor, Nursing and Health

Ehsan H. Feroz, Professor, Milgard School of Business, Accounting

Jerry Flores, Assistant Professor, Social Work

Michael Forman, Associate Professor, Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Margaret Griesse, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Sarah Hampson, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Merna Hecht, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Andrea Hill, Acting Assistant Professor, Social Work and Criminal Justice

Michael Honey, Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Cynthia Howson, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Linda Ishem, Senior Lecturer, Urban Studies

Theodore Johnstone, Part-Time Lecturer, Social Work

Michael Kucher, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Janice Laakso, Associate Professor, Social Work

Leanne Laux-Bachand, Full-Time Lecturer, Culture, Arts and Communication, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

James Liner, Full-Time Lecturer, Culture, Arts and Communication, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Eric Madfis, Assistant Professor, Social Work Program

Chris Marriott, Full-Time Lecturer, Institute of Technology

Nita McKinley, Division Chair and Associate Professor, Social, Human and Behavioral Sciences, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Alex Morrow, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Abby Murray, Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Jennifer Myers, Full-Time Lecturer, Culture, Arts and Communications, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Anderson C. A. Nascimento, Assistant Professor, Institute of Technology  

Beverly Naidus, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Amos Nascimiento, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Julie Nicoletta, Division Chair and Professor, Social and Historical Studies, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Alexandra Nutter Smith, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Devon Peña, Professor, Anthropology

J. Mark Pendras, Associate Professor, Urban Studies

Anthony Perone, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Emma Rose, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Tim Scharks, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Ann Schuster, Part-Time Lecturer, Education

Megan Schwartz, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Olga Shatunova, Part-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Cynthia Stanich, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Elizabeth “Libi” Sundermann, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Josh Tenenberg, Professor, Institute of Technology

Jack Vincent, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Ingrid Walker, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Alison Walker Stromdahl, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Matthew Weinstein, Director and Professor, Education Program

Ariel Wetzel, Full-Time Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Charles Williams, Division Chair and Associate Professor, Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

James Williams, Part-Time Lecturer, Social Work Program

 

Dear Colleague,

Faculty at the University of Washington are on the front lines of sweeping change in higher education. Increasingly, many of us understand we must act to preserve the integrity of our profession and the mission of our institution.

The Funding Crisis
Historically, Washington State provided most of UW’s funding for undergraduate student education. Over the past two decades, however, state funding has collapsed. In 1990, the State of Washington provided 82% of funding per UW undergraduate student, while students and their families contributed 18%.  In 2013, students paid 70% while the state contributed only 30%.[1]

To compensate for the state’s failure to support higher education, the UW has steadily raised student tuition. We have taken on bond debt, and faculty and departments increasingly rely on grants, clinical care, corporate partnerships, and private philanthropy. Between 2008-2014, Washington State imposed the second highest increase in in-state undergraduate tuition in the nation, at more than $4,000 per student.[2] As of June 2014, the UW had more than $2 billion in bond debt,[3] with each student contributing $1,128 annually towards interest payments in 2012.[4]

It is increasingly urgent for UW faculty to become directly engaged in the fight for state funding.

Faculty as the foundation of academia 

Academic freedom is recognized as a fundamental principle of our profession, in large part thanks to the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The UW has had a chapter of the AAUP since 1918, three years after the founding of the national AAUP.  Our historic model of academic freedom is based, however, on the protections of tenure, increasingly denied to most faculty.  In response to unreliable and insufficient state funding, all public universities, including the UW, have increasingly created untenured lecturer positions, WOT (without tenure) and research professor positions. Denied the protection of tenure or even, in the case of most lecturers, multi-year contracts, these faculty are essentially denied academic freedom as well as a reliable source of employment.  In 2002-03, 43% of UW’s faculty were tenured or on a tenure track, a proportion that has fallen to 30%. Now 70% of faculty positions are non-tenured, and many faculty work part time. Further, most non-competitively hired full-time lecturers have only one-year contracts and earn much less than competitive hires, despite having similar duties.  

At the same time, the sources of “soft money” that WOT and research faculty depend on are shifting. For example, National Institute of Health (NIH) grants to UW declined by 10% from 2012-13.[5] There is some evidence that UW medical school faculty face increasing pressure to increase clinical hours to supplement declining research. Faculty in many departments are now expected to foster donor relationships as part of our work (Increasing numbers of advancement personnel tell us to “Be alert for the passions of donors to see if we can provide services and programs they would like to support!”).

While these new funding sources may help balance the budget, they come at a cost. Market forces and the interests of private funders increasingly shape not only our work, but university policies and priorities. The education of our students is measured more by their future job prospects rather than their education as citizens.

During the recession, most UW faculty suffered a four-year wage freeze that widened a salary gap between UW and our closest peer institutions.[6] As of 2013, “the average salary of UW professors (all ranks combined) is lower than all but one of the top ten public research universities with medical schools.”[7]

A Union for UW Faculty?

While most faculty have some voice through faculty governance, traditional governance mechanisms have been unable to respond effectively to these troubling trends. For that reason, the AAUP board and other faculty have begun a conversation about faculty unionization with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Washington’s four regional comprehensive universities—Western Washington University (WWU), Eastern, Central, and Evergreen State are all unionized. Bill Lyne, the president of the union at WWU, writes that “smart administrators understand the value of their faculty and staff unions. At Western, we have been able to form a strong coalition for legislative work and it has helped us keep bad times from becoming worse. The strong working relationship we have with our administration in Olympia has carried back to Bellingham and enhanced an environment of mutual respect.”[8] In short, we expect a faculty union will help strengthen shared governance by allowing the Faculty Senate to focus on academic issues.

SEIU, one of the largest education unions in the country, represents contingent faculty at schools including Tufts, Boston University, Georgetown, George Washington, and both TT and NTT faculty in the Cal State system. Faculty at the University of Minnesota, a state university similar in mission and size to the UW, are in the process of forming a union with SEIU.  In Washington State, SEIU 925 represents faculty at Antioch University and Seattle University, as well as the classified staff at the UW.

This quarter you may be approached by a colleague or an SEIU organizer. We invite you to join our movement to reclaim the integrity of our profession, and work towards restoring the state’s commitment to funding public higher education. Together, we will continue our work towards a shared vision of a public university that is a vibrant part of Washington’s culture and economy, produces exceptional research and scholarship, and is a great place to teach, research, and learn.


[1] See Vice Provost Paul Jenny’s 2013 report to regents, page 6: http://www.washington.edu/regents/meetings/2013/may/docs/special-meeting-presentation

[2] See http://www.cbpp.org/files/5-1-14sfp.pdf

[3] See UW’s 2014 Annual Financial Report at http://f2.washington.edu/fm/uw-annual-reports/sites/default/files/file/annualreport2014.pdf

[4] Based on UW budget reporting to the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.  See http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/. Author analysis on file and available

[5] See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/09/budget-crisis_n_2843174.html

[6] See http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2019631381_salaries08m.html

[7] See Washington Futures Report at http://www.washington.edu/provost/files/2013/08/WAFUTURES_082813.pdf

[8] AAUP journal of academic freedom, Volume 2. http://www.aaup.org/reports-publications/journal-academic-freedom/volume-2.

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