The Coalition for a Just University at Penn State (CJU/PSU) formed in the wake of the Open Letter to the Penn State Administration Regarding Plans for the Fall and the Response to Covid-19 that circulated in the Summer of 2020 and was signed by more than 1,100 faculty members and nearly 500 graduate students, undergraduates, staff, and other members of the Penn State community. The organization is an outgrowth of our collective commitment to working for greater transparency, equity, job security, and safety in the context of the pandemic, and for the meaningful involvement of faculty and other workers in decision-making processes at the university.
CJU/PSU started out as a faculty organization but we are seeking to expand our collaborative efforts with staff and graduate employees, and we are building alliances with undergraduate students as well as other on and off-campus organizations and community members. We aim to share our collective knowledge and experiences so that Penn State will emerge as a more just and spirited place of learning for all.
Now is the time for Penn State to put people first, to engage in an open discussion about what our priorities as a university should be, and for the faculty, staff, and other workers to play a central role in making decisions about how to respond to this crisis.
The Local Organizing Working Group discusses and considers local actions on campuses or in work units, provides support for actions, coordinates cross-campus collaborations, and gathers information to share with the Coordinating Committee.
Fixed Term Faculty
The Fixed Term Faculty Solidarity Working Group works to create space for fixed term faculty to share their concerns, develop solutions, and to advocate for their needs to the larger University community.
The Coordinating Committee supports and helps to facilitate communication among the working groups. It articulates the broad objectives and principles of our organizing efforts, proposes strategies for moving forward, and plans the statewide faculty meetings. Other tasks include undertaking research into university finances.
The Media Relations working group connects to and maintains contact with media outlets—local, regional, and national—in coordination with the other working groups. In addition to writing press releases, Media Relations will develop a list of faculty members willing to speak to the press. Other tasks include managing social media and tracking press coverage.