Letter from Jeff Williams

. Wednesday, April 27, 2005

To the Administrators of the University of Washington:

I write in support of your graduate students in the Student-Worker
Coalition, and urge that you recognize them fully, including their rights
to organize, to speak publicly, and to strike.

We often, in our classes, encourage critical thinking, but are flummoxed
when that critical thinking is applied to our own universities,
departments, and workplaces. But it is to the credit of your graduate
students that they wish to have a voice. To espouse open discourse is one
of the principles of the university, and, though not always easy, it is a
fundamental principle.

As a senior professor, a well-published scholar and editor, and an active
member of the academic profession (for instance, a member of the national
council of the AAUP), I urge you to recognize your graduate students'
rights and deal with them as full participants in your university

Jeffrey J. Williams
Professor of English and of Literary and Cultural Studies
Carnegie Mellon University
Editor, the minnesota review