To: Chancellor Jones,

Provost Cangellaris,

LAS Dean Hu,

LAS Associate Dean Tewksbury,

Graduate College Dean Chodzko-Zajko

RE:   Center for African Studies’ Support For Graduate Employees Organization

The Center for African Studies writes to express our support for the Graduate Employees’ Organization in their bargaining efforts towards a fair contract with the University of Illinois. The strike is now in its third day and there has been significant disruption to the teaching mission of the university.

We urge Provost Cangellaris and the University bargaining team to work with the GEO to find a solution to provide a fair contract, especially considering that our graduate student employees have been without a contract since the beginning of the academic year. We support an agreement that maintains their tuition waivers, pays them a living wage that follows the University’s own published cost of living, and provides them with adequate healthcare.

We acknowledge the vital role that graduate students play as Teaching Assistants at our university, especially at the undergraduate level, helping us fulfill the mission of the university with regards to teaching, research, and service.

CAS joins other units in expressing our support for a fair contact for our graduate students.


Teresa Barnes (Director, CAS)
Maimouna Barro (Associate Director, CAS)

CAS Executive Committee

Ken Salo
Allyson Purpura
Atoma Batoma
Mauro Nobili

Teresa Barnes

Director, Center for African Studies
Associate Professor, History Department and Gender & Women's Studies Department
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: 217-333-6335 or 217-333-1155