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IU Trustees in letter to faculty: no recognition of grad student union

Justin Hicks
IPB News

The IU Board of Trustees said it won’t recognize the graduate student union requested by striking Student Academic Appointees.

IU faculty voted in favor of recognizing the union in May and in favor of changing a policy that allows the provost to terminate SAAs without approval of their academic supervisors.

In an email to the Bloomington Faculty Council, the trustees wrote that “the process to enhance the experience of graduate students is best accomplished through existing channels of shared governance and collaboration.”

The letter also discourages any further disruptions to the undergraduate experience at IU. It says there will be consequences for any educator at IU who doesn’t uphold their responsibilities.

The graduate worker coalition has indicated their strike will continue in the coming fall semester, and will take a vote on whether to continue in September.

Trustees said the administration’s new leaders made efforts to seek solutions, noting Provost Rahul Shrivastav’s listening sessions with graduate students and the committee established to investigate improvements.

In April, the Graduate and Professional Student Government held an emergency meeting to take a vote of no-confidence in the provost.

The resolution passed 55 to two.

The resolution withdraws representatives from committees of shared governance at I-U until the administration engages in a meaningful dialogue with the coalition.