Solidarity with UMich Graduate Workers on Strike

TAL stands in solidarity with the graduate workers on strike at the University of Michigan.

Numerous Lobby members past and present have studied, worked as assistants, graduate student instructors, or as adjuncts at Taubman College at U.Mich. The struggle of graduate workers for fair contracts and a living wage is crucial to making real a more just and equitable field of architecture and built environment.

PhDs are core to the research, teaching and service mission of Taubman College, yet they only make $24,000 a year. This is $14,500 below a living wage in Ann Arbor, where the college is located.

Their pay is the lowest base salary for PhDs at the university. Other disciplines on campus provide an additional $5-6k a year to their PhDs livelihoods — yet architecture gives $0. Other disciplines on campus have contracts for 5 to 6 years — yet architecture has only 4.

Architecture PhD’s pay is 14 times less than the dean of architecture, who makes over $330,000. This all occurs at one of the wealthiest schools of architecture in the world, with an endowment somewhere over $100 million, and an annual budget which has consistently grown over the past decade — increasing by over $6 million from instructional activity revenues last year alone.