January 25, 2019
President Cheryl Schrader and Members of the Board of Trustees of Wright State University:
Dear Colleagues at Wright State University,
We write in support of our faculty colleagues at Wright State University on behalf of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), an international organization of over 600 sociologists and publisher of the highly respected academic journal Gender & Society. We are contacting you regarding the contract negotiations impasse that led faculty to go on strike. We wish to express our sincere hope that the University will work to achieve a fair and expeditious resolution to this troubling situation.
SWS was formed in 1971 to promote activism, scholarship, and education that improves the lives of women in all walks of life. We have been especially active in supporting the professional and academic careers of women and of gender scholarship in colleges and universities. Current scholarship in the social sciences and education consistently shows that women and members of minority groups face unique challenges to their professional success in academia. We also know that unions work hard to decrease inequalities among faculty. The Board of Trustees’ decision might impact women and people of color disproportionately for economic reasons such as fewer assets and safety net savings.
We strongly support human rights, democracy, and scientific research, and we believe that colleges and universities should assume prominent roles in civil political discourses and policy decisions that are vital to the welfare of the nation—especially when it comes to promoting social justice. On a daily basis, however, faculty educate and enrich the lives of students. Faculty and students are certainly the heart of every university.
For these reasons, we hope that this contract negotiation impasse is resolved promptly and amicably, in a way that demonstrates the crucial role faculty play in fulfilling the University’s mission and guaranteeing academic excellence. Furthermore, we urge Wright State University to work with faculty to clarify any misunderstandings or prejudgments that recent events may have caused and to guarantee a fair and respectful work environment for the future.
SWS President, Adia Harvey Wingfield, Ph.D.
SWS President, Tiffany Taylor, Ph.D.
SWS Past President, Abby Ferber, Ph.D.