Provost Phil Hanlon said he reviewed Jennifer Dibbern’s academic record and found no evidence that she was dropped because of her involvement in a unionization effort for graduate student research assistants (GSRAs). Hanlon is the top-ranking academic administrator at U-M.
Dibbern alleged this week that her supervising professor, Rachel Goldman, fired her because of her leadership in a drive to unionize GSRAs. Dibbern said she also was kicked out of her program.
State law bars GSRAs from organizing a union, but a group of them is trying to get the Michigan Employment Relations Commission to allow them to unionize. The commission has referred the matter to an administrative judge for a ruling. That hearing is expected to begin Feb. 1.
On Tuesday, Dibbern showed the Free Press e-mails from Goldman that told Dibbern she needed to cut back on outside activities and focus more on her research. Dibbern said the only outside activity she had at the time was unionizing.
Shortly after Dibbern held a news conference Wednesday, the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, the leading body of faculty governance, issued a statement saying it believes GSRAs should not be allowed to unionize.