Open Letter to top UI Administrators from the GEO

An Open Letter to top University of Illinois Administrators

From the Graduate Employees’ Organization

April 19, 2010

Dear Sirs and Madams,

As you know, the State of Illinois owes the University of Illinois system about $500 million, with a significant portion of that amount due to the Urbana campus. As the budget crisis has come to a head, we of the Graduate Employees’ Organization will continue to contribute our efforts to ensure the future of accessible and high quality education at the University of Illinois.

We are committed to ensuring that the University of Illinois remain true to its mission as a public land grant institution to provide education that is truly accessible to all, regardless of economic background.

Quality and accessible education at our University is under siege—class size is growing to untenable proportions, faculty are being furloughed, and budget cuts are affecting the education we are able to provide our students. Meanwhile, Interim President Ikenberry told the Daily Illini that a tuition increase of at least 9% may be necessary, indicating also that the university may not be able to maintain its status as a top institution.

Rather than accept the necessity of making this institution even less accessible to working class students in Illinois, we’re renting buses and going to Springfield with other members of the UC United Coalition, the same consortium of labor unions and student activist groups that brought us the March 4th rally to defend public education.

The GEO and UC United will join thousands of education employees to not only ask for the money currently owed this university by the state, but to demand that state lawmakers recognize the importance of funding public education in Illinois.  And we are saving you a seat on the bus.

So will you join us on April 21 to lobby in Springfield for accessible public education and fair treatment of University employees, and help us keep the University of Illinois at the top?

Let us know – we can be reached at geo@uigeo.org, or 217-344-8283.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Seawell

Kathryn Walkiewicz

Co-Presidents, Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO.

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