A note about the following letter: The “Letter from Concerned Gonzaga Faculty” emerged from a grassroots effort among faculty who attended several of the listening sessions held over the last two weeks. On one hand, the letter alone is just “another statement;” on the other hand, it points toward immediate actions, and it signals an intention from a large group of faculty to hold ourselves accountable, to hold each other accountable and importantly, to hold administration accountable for long overdue institutional changes.

The signatures of support for this letter are certainly incomplete; power dynamics certainly prevented some supportive colleagues from signing this letter. Faculty without the protection of tenure, adjunct faculty and instructional staff occupy vulnerable and precarious employment positions. Some faculty work in hostile climates to this type of engagement and may fear repercussions from colleagues.

The letter circulated only among faculty in recognition of the many academic challenges related to diversity, equity and inclusion that must be addressed. However, the need for change spans all corners of the University, and all employees—faculty, staff and administration—must work collaboratively as equal partners to create lasting change on this campus.

A letter from concerned Gonzaga Faculty...

On Nov. 8 Gonzaga’s Black Student Union was attacked—GU was attacked. As GU faculty we are witnesses to the pain students experience semester after semester as a result of racist and homophobic attacks and exclusions. Students have voiced a loss of trust in our institution; their lack of trust is understandable. They fear this latest incident will pass unaddressed without the individual and communal care this moment requires, and that GU will move on and resume “normal” operations without the institutional changes that the history of these cyclical incidents demand.

Many faculty share students’ anger, hurt and frustration. We need swift action in the short term and serious change in the longer term. We acknowledge the “messages of solidarity” from GU’s president, provost, head of student affairs and provost for diversity and inclusion. We also acknowledge that the institution regularly responds with important opportunities to listen to those who are hurt.

Messages of solidarity are not enough. Listening is not enough. Those strategies still have not interrupted the recurring, long-standing experiences of exclusion. In place of reactive responses, we need proactive measures and commitments.

We need stronger, clearer actions and commitments from this point forward. First, we expect the GU administration to swiftly and thoroughly address the tangible actions called for by the BSU. In addition to these student demands, we expect the administration to provide the campus with regular updates about this investigation and your findings. We want you to follow through on the support offered from the local NAACP, the alliance of independent colleges, the State’s political officials and Spokane’s local neighborhoods.

Additionally, GU must affirm that the experiences of oppression, exclusion and pain transcend this particular hate attack; the systemic roots of these problems must be acknowledged and confronted lest these experiences continue to plague our campus community.

Without stronger action, accountability and education for every single member of our community, these problems fester. As we have already seen, what should be a holistic and collaborative space for “reflective and critical thought, lifelong learning, spiritual growth, ethical discernment, creativity and innovation,” has become divisive, disconnected and imperiled.

For years we have watched GU respond to racism on campus with passive, broad affirmations of diversity, equity, inclusion and our Jesuit values that do not manifest in sustained anti-racist action or community accountability. Moreover, our reluctance to expect accountability from our colleagues maintains the status quo year after year and ensures these experiences remain embedded in our culture. Therefore, we expect immediate commitments and changes grounded in proven strategies for equity and inclusion in higher education and the following unequivocal actions:

  • Make explicit every faculty member’s requirement to upholding the full dignity of every person in every aspect of our work.
  • Provide and expect ongoing inclusion and equity training / education for all employees, without exception.
  • Make documented ongoing faculty development in the area of equitable teaching practices a component in demonstrating teaching excellence.
  • Prioritize faculty and staff hiring in areas that support our underserved students (students of color, queer students, international students …) and require candidates to demonstrate fluency and proficiency in conversations of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Upholding institutional expectations and values are not matters of academic freedom or personal choice; they are requirements for everyone who enjoys the privilege of working for this institution. 

We expect GU administration and leadership to deliver on the things you’ve been tasked to do (and more). It’s fundamental to who we are. Fr. Ignacio Ellacuría, SJ, asked in a 1982 commencement address at Santa Clara University: “What then does a university do, immersed in this reality [of oppression and injustice]? Transform it? Yes. Do everything possible so that liberty is victorious over oppression, justice over injustice, love over hate? Yes. Without this overall commitment, we would not be a university and even less so would we be a Catholic university.”

Our values and mission mean little without actions that affirm them. But we as an intellectual community have the “imagination and creativity together to discover the remedies to our problems” (Fr. Ellacuría). It is time to hold ourselves, our colleagues and the administration accountable. This institution must reaffirm our commitment to the common good and prove that it is the institution our mission promises.

The institution must act now.

Faculty Signatures (in alphabetical order)

Elizabeth Addis, Associate Professor, Biology

Jennifer W. Akins, MDLA/ELC

Kirk Anders, Professor, Biology

Alejandro Arango, Lecturer, Philosophy

Sarah Arpin, Associate Professor, Psychology

Logan Axon, Associate Professor, Mathematics 

Wilson Bailey, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Betsy Bancroft, Associate Professor, Biology and Environmental Studies

Monica Banyi, Assistant Professor, Accounting

Monica Bartlett, Professor Psychology

John Beck, Professor of Economics

Diane Birginal, Senior Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literature

Kelley Bishop, Lecturer of Spanish, Department of Modern Languages and Literature

David Boose, Professor and Department Chair, Biology

Susan Boysen, Professor, Department of Nursing

Joan Braune, Lecturer, Philosophy

B. Kevin Brown, Adjunct Instructor, Religious Studies (Senior Specialist for Faculty and Staff Formation, Mission and Ministry)

Angela Bruns, Assistant Professor, Sociology & Criminology

Rebecca Bull Schaefer, Associate Professor of MGMT, SBA

Paul Buller, School of Business Administration 

Bernadette Marie Calafell, Professor and Department Chair, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Richard Callahan, Lecturer, Religious Studies

Anny Case, Ph.D., Department of Teacher Education

Ann Ciasullo, Professor and Chair, English Department

Meagan Ciesla, Associate Professor, English

Emily Clark, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Melissa Click, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Dennis Arthur Conners, Assoc. Prof. Organizational Leadership

John Correia, Assistant Professor of MIS, School of Business Administration

Heather Crandall, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Shannen Cravens (Khare), Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Matthew Cremeens, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Carolyn Cunningham, Associate Professor, Communication and Leadership Studies

E. Cassandra Dame-Griff, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES)

Monique De Nysschen, DNP, Nursing Department

Jake Deckert, Lecturer, HPHY

Cathy DeHart, Lecturer of Accounting

Mike DeLand, Assistant Professor Sociology & Criminology

Sara Diaz, Associate Professor, Women's and Gender Studies

Laura A Diaz-Martinez, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Jeffrey Dodd, Assistant Professor, English

Shannon Dunn, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Heather Easterling, Professor, English Department

Susan Edwards, MSN, RN, CHSE, Resource and Simulation Center Director Department of Nursing

Shauna Ellefson, MSN, ARNP, FNP - School of Nursing and Human Physiology

David Fague, Senior Lecturer, Music Department

Todd A. Finkle, Pigott Professor of Entrepreneurship

Tim Fitzgerald, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Chris Francovich, Associate Professor, DPLS

Luis Garcia-Torvisco, Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Literature

Suzann Girtz, Ph.D., Professor, Teacher Education

Jeremy Gordon, Communication Studies

Jamella Gow, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology 

Vikas Gumbhir, Associate Professor, Sociology and Criminology 

Torunn Haaland, Associate Professor of Italian, Chair of International Studies

Jessica Halliday, Senior Lecturer, English

Peter Hamlin, Associate Professor, Music

Joey Haydock, Associate Professor, Biology

Stephen G. Hayes, Assistant Professor, Biology

William A Hayes, Assoc Prof & Chair, Sociology & Criminology

Scott Hedin, Asst. Prof., Business

Kevin Henrickson, Professor, Economics

Heath Herrick, Senior Lecturer, English

Ryan Herzog, Associate Professor of Economics

Matthew Hoag, Coordinator of Accounting and Associate Professor of Accounting

Maria Howard, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Melinda Howard, Lecturer, Biology

James Hunter, Associate Professor, English Language Center / Teacher Education

Christina Isabelli, Professor and Department Chair, Modern Languages and Literature

Erica Johnson, Professor, Economics

Joe Johnston, Assistant Professor, Sociology & Criminology

Yu-Kyung Kang, Assistant Professor, English Department

Sara Kern, Professor, School of Business Administration

Harman Khare, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Carol Kottwitz, Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Human Physiology

Molly Kretchmar-Hendricks, Professor of Psychology and University Core Director

Jillian LaBelle, Lecturer of Accounting, School of Business Administration

Charles Lassiter, Associate Professor, Philosophy

Inga N. Laurent, Professor, Law

Kathleen Leamy, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Sou Lee, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology

Adriane Leithauser, Lecturer of Business Ethics, School of Business Administration

Emily Loeffler, Instructor, Music

Peggy Sue Loroz, Professor of Marketing, School of Business Administration 

Raven Maragh-Lloyd, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Rebecca Marquis, Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literature

Megan McCabe, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies

Matt McCormick, Assistant Professor, Art and Integrated Media

Kevin McCruden, Professor, Religious Studies

Ryan McCulloch, Associate Professor, HPHY

James McKenzie, Ph.D., Lecturer in Human Physiology

Rob McKinney, Assistant Professor, Counselor Education

Nicole J. Moore, Associate Professor, Physics

Juliane Mora, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Kristina Johnson Morehouse, Senior Lecturer, Communication Studies

Dr. Yasaman Naraghi, Lecturer, English

Melanie Nash, DNP, APRN, NP-C Gonzaga University, School of Nursing & Human Physiology

J. Nautiyal, Lecturer, Communication Studies

Mike Nelson, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology 

Father Max Oliva, S.J. Jesuit Liaison to the Business School

Michele Pajer, Senior Lecturer, Dept. of English

Shalon Parker, Professor, Art

Vivek Patil, Professor of Marketing, School of Business Administration

Molly Pepper, Professor of Management, Business

Ute Perz, Senior Lecturer, Modern Languages and Literature

Amy Pistone, Assistant Professor, Classical Civilizations

Stephanie E. Plowman, Associate Professor, Foley Library

Amy Porter, Director of GU Discantus Treble Choir, voice instructor, Music Department

Karen F Rickel, Associate Professor, Sport & Physical Education

Matthew Rindge, Professor, Religious Studies

Forrest R. Rodgers, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Sociology & Criminology

Dr. Noralis Rodríguez Coss, Assistant Professor, Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Jonathan Rossing, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Communication Studies

Mat Rude, Kreielsheimer Chair, Associate Professor, Art

Martin Schiavenato, PhD, RN  Assistant Professor of Nursing

Veta Schlimgen, Associate Professor of History

Casey R. Schmitt, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Allan Scruggs, Lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Benjamin Semple, Professor, Modern Languages

Brenda Senger, PhD, RN, Associate Professor Nursing

Jennie Sevedge-Angel, Senior Lecturer, MDLA-ELC

Jennifer Shepherd, Professor and Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department

John Sheveland, Professor, Religious Studies

Pavel Shlossberg, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Communication and Leadership

R. Brian Siebeking, Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Sarah Siegel, Lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Lisa Silvestri, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Kaye Slater, MSN, RN, Lecturer, Department of Nursing

Joanne Smieja, Professor, Chemistry

Rebecca Smith, Adjunct Instructor, Department of English

Lisa Soranaka, Adjunct Professor, Art Department

John S. Spencer, Associate Professor, Foley Library

Robert Spittal, Professor, Music Department

Scott Starbuck, Lecturer in Religious Studies

Nancy Staub, Professor, Biology

Cynthia Stavrianos, Associate Professor, Political Science

Christopher Stevens, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, School of Business Administration

Adam Stivers, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Jiana Stover, Science Outreach Coordinator, Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry Departments

Brook Swanson, Professor, Biology

Maria Tackett, Associate Professor of Economics

Stacy Taninchev, Associate Professor, Political Science

David Thorp, Professor, Department of Human Physiology

Dr. Jane Tiedt, Associate Professor, Nursing

John Traynor, Associate Professor, Teacher Education

Michael Treleaven, PhD, Associate Professor, Political Science

Mary Pat Treuthart, Professor, Law

Laura Truitt, Assistant Professor, Art Department

Annie Voy, Associate Professor, Economics

Jeff Watson, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Timothy Weidel, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy

Timothy Westerhaus, Director of Choirs & Vocal Studies and Chair, Music Department

Brad Wilkins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Human Physiology 

Danielle Xu, Professor, Finance/SBA

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(1) comment


Wow, faculty has no understanding of real world employment. Nothing is guaranteed in life, get it?

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