Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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LTE: Northwestern Faculty Open Letter about Football and Other Athletics at Northwestern

We are current faculty at Northwestern. We write to call for immediate, comprehensive steps to improve transparency and structures of accountability in Athletics at the university. 

As faculty, we want Northwestern to be a place where all students will grow and thrive. We are dismayed to learn that our students have been victims and also perpetrators of hazing, sexual assault, and racism, and that such behaviors have in some cases gone unchecked by authorities entrusted with students’ wellbeing. 

The first step is transparency. We know from President Schill’s July 10 statement that at least 11 current or former football student-athletes acknowledged that hazing has been ongoing within the football program, according to a report by an independent investigator hired by the university last year.

The investigator’s findings should be made public to the fullest extent permitted by law, contingent on the consent of the victims. It is essential to learn what was known by Northwestern coaches, staff and administrators, and when, and what steps were taken, or not taken, to address hazing on the football team. Even after Fitzgerald’s firing, Northwestern students, staff, alumni, faculty and donors deserve to know what occurred in order to ensure it never happens again. In the near term, we call on university officials to promise publicly that students who came forward with accounts of abuse and hazing will not lose their scholarships or face other forms of retaliation.

Second, the Athletics Department desperately needs long-term institutionalized oversight. This month’s revelations about the football and baseball teams echo the department’s failure to adequately address the cheer team’s complaints of racism and sexual harassment, an issue that came to a head in 2021 and resulted in the dismissal of Athletic Director Mike Polisky.  At that time, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling for “a needs assessment for training and accountability measures within the Athletics Department” and for the university to “report on the outcome of the needs assessment to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee.”  That assessment was never done. 

Our students have paid the price. We call on university leadership to undertake the needs assessment called for by the Faculty Senate and to take substantive steps for greater oversight of the Athletics Department, for instance through the creation of a dedicated ombudsperson or office, a widely publicized tip line, or other structural changes. 

Finally, Northwestern leadership should halt the planning and marketing of a new, $800 million Ryan Field until this crisis is satisfactorily resolved. Over the past decade, Northwestern has made major and high-profile investments in athletics. We share an interest in ensuring the future success of NU athletics, and in stellar facilities where our students can compete on the highest level.  But disturbing evidence of harassment and abuse – and high-level efforts to minimize those problems – suggest that we need to get the existing house in order before expanding it. 

We salute the brave student athletes who came forward to tell the truth, and we commend Northwestern’s talented and committed student journalists for informing the public when the administration would not. We also applaud President Schill for taking steps to set the football team on a new footing. The dismissal of Coach Fitzgerald is a beginning, not an end, however, and the real work remains to be done.  We trust that you share our concerns and that you and other members of Northwestern’s leadership will take comprehensive action to right past wrongs and create a better future for all our students. 

Sincerely,


Susan Pearson, Professor of History

Caitlin Fitz, Associate Professor of History

Jessica Winegar, Professor of Anthropology

Amy Stanley, Professor of History

Kate Masur, Professor of History and, by courtesy, Black Studies 

Sean Hanretta, Associate Professor of History

Elisa Baena, Professor of Instruction, Spanish and Portuguese 

Kevin Boyle, William Smith Mason Professor of American History, History Department, 

Martha Biondi, Professor of Black Studies

Kimberly R. Marion Suiseeya, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, 

Julia Stern, Henry Sanborn Noyes Professor of Literature, English Department 

Barbara L. Shwom , Professor of Instruction in Writing, Cook Family Writing Program

David Schoenbrun, Professor, History

Rebecca Zorach, Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History, Department of Art History

Robert Orsi, Professor of Religious Studies, History, and American Studies

David Boyk, Associate Professor of Instruction, Asian Languages and Cultures

Sarah Maza, Professor of History

Lauren Stokes, Associate Professor, History

Michael Loriaux, Professor, Political Science

Kyle Henry, Associate Professor, Dept of Radio, Television and Film

Shmuel Nili, Associate Professor, Political Science

Luis Amaral, Haven Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Robin Bates, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of History

Barbara Newman, Professor of English

Laura Brueck, Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures, 

Katherine E. Hoffman, Associate Professor of Anthropology & MENA Studies

Cynthia Coburn, Professor, School of Education and Social Policy

Michaela Kleber, Assistant Professor, History Department

David Schieber, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Sociology

Ian Hurd, Professor of Political Science

Jaime Dominguez, Associate Professor of Instruction, Political Science

Cynthia Robin, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology

Cindy Gold, Professor of Theatre

Deborah Cohen, Richard W. Leopold Professor of History 

Beatriz O. Reyes, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Global Health Studies & CNAIR Affiliate 

Dassia Posner, Associate Professor, Theatre

Jeffrey A. Winters, Professor of Political Science

Melissa Blanco, Associate Professor, Theater 

Robert Hariman, Professor, Department of Communication Studies

Brannon Ingram, Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Sara A Solla, Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Ceci Rodgers, Assistant Professor, Medill

James Schwoch, Professor, Department of Communication Studies and Science in Human Culture Program

David Besanko, IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practices, Department of Strategy, Kellogg School of Management

John Haas, Associate Professor of Instruction/Advisor, Department of Theatre

Catherine Fabian, Au.D., Assistant Clinical Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders 

Melissa Isaacson, assistant professor, Medill

Thomas Gaubatz, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Mei-Ling Hopgood, William F. Thomas Chair of Journalism, Medill

Leslie M. Harris, Professor, History and African American Studies

Kelli Morgan McHugh, Associate Professor of Instruction, Department of Theatre

Jillana Enteen; Professor of Instruction; Gender and Sexuality Studies

Alicia Caticha, Assistant Professor, Art History Department

Ji-Yeon Yuh, Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies

Reynaldo Morales, Medill School and Buffett Institute

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, Professor, History Department

Kalyani Chadha, Associate Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Integrated Marketing, Media

Emrah Yildiz, Assistant Professor, Anthropology

George Georgiadis, Assoc Prof Strategy

Lincoln Quillian, Professor of Sociology

Brett Neveu, Professor of Instruction, RTVF

Ryan Dohoney, Associate Professor of Musicology, Critical Theory & Comparative Literary Studies

Ezra Getzler, Professor of Mathematics

Linda Gates, Professor of Instruction, Department of Theatre

Marianne Hopman, Associate Professor, Classics

Penelope Deutscher, Professor, Philosophy

Helen Thompson, Professor, English

Peter J. Carroll, Assoc Prof, History 

Bryna Kra, Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Mathematics, Mathematics

Loubna El Amine, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Rosemary Braun, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences

Mary Pattillo, Professor of Sociology and Black Studies

Christine Froula, Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Brett Gadsden, Associate Professor, History

Christine Helmer, Peter B. Ritzma Chair of Humanities, German Department

Kari Lydersen, Assistant Professor, Medill School of Journalism 

Onnie Rogers, Associate Prof, Psychology/IPR

Barbara Butts Associate Professor, SOC Theatre

Joshua Chambers-Letson, Professor of Performance Studies and Asian American Studies

Elizabeth Shogren, associate professor of journalism, Medill School

Alex Kotlowitz, professor, Medill

Ben Gorvine, Professor of Instruction, Department of Psychology

Tabitha Bonilla, Associate Professor, Human Development and Social Policy

Michelle Molina, Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Mónica Russel y Rodríguez, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Anthropology, 

Denise Meuser, Professor of Instruction, German

Mimi White, Professor, Department of Radio/Television/Film

Joshua Hauser, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine

Jennifer Weintritt, Assistant Professor of Classics

Sarah Cushman, Senior Lecturer, History Department

Mary Weismantel Professor of Anthropology 

Michelle Shumate, Delaney Family University Professor Communication, 

Laura Lackner, Associate Professor, Molecular Biosciences

Reuel Rogers, Associate Professor of Political Science

Jon Marshall, Associate Professor at Medill

Michael Maltenfort, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Mathematics & Weinberg Advising, 

Therese McGuire, Professor, Strategy Department

Joel Mokyr, Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Economics and History 

Jen Munson, Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences

Krista Thompson Mary Jane Crowe Professor of Art History Department of Art History

Elizabeth Tipton, Professor of Statistics and Data Science

Matthieu Dupas, assistant professor, French

Jennifer Cole, Associate Professor of Instruction, Chemical & Biological Engineering

JP Sniadecki, Professor, RTVF department 

Nasrin Qader, Chair, Associate Professor, French and Italian

Sarah Jacoby, Associate Professor

Patti Wolter,  Professor, Medill School of Journalism

Marcela A. Fuentes, Associate Professor, Performance Studies

Claudio E. Benzecry, Professor of Communication Studies and Sociology, 

Liz Hamilton, Copyright Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries

Jing Zheng, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Desiree Hanford, Assistant Professor and Director of Academic Integrity and Appeals, Medill

Angela Ray, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Julie Myatt, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Theatre

Joseph Ferrie, Professor of Economics

Corey Byrnes, Associate Professor, Comparative Literary Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, Kaplan Institute

Gina Petersen, Assessment Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries

Jamie Carlstone, Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries

Matt Goldrick, Professor of Linguistics

Gregory Ward, Professor of Linguistics, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and by courtesy Philosophy

Ana Maria Acosta, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences

Katie Watson, Associate Professor, Medical Education, Medical Social Sciences, amd Ob/Gyn 

Anne Zald, Librarian Faculty, University Libraries

Ariel Rogers, Associate Professor, Radio/TV/Film

Mary McGrath, Assistant Professor, Political Science

Chris Davidson, Campus & Community Engagement Librarian

Igal Szleifer, Christina Enroth-Cugell Professor of Biomedical Engineering

David Gatchell, Clinical Professor Segal Design institute

Jason Nargis, Special Collections Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries

Sarah Schulman, Ralla Klepak Professor of Creative Writing- Nonfiction 

Katharine Breen, Professor of English

Jill Wilson, Professor of Instruction, IEMS

Miriam J. Petty, Associate Professor, Department of Radio/Television/Film 

Mark Werwath, Clinical Professor, IEMS

Casey Ankeny, Assoc. Prof. of Instruction

Felipe Jimenez-Angeles, Research Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Jay Grossman, Associate Professor of English

John Anderson, Senior Lecturer, Segal Design Institute

Larry Stuelpnagel, Associate Professor Medill/Associate Professor of Instruction Political Science

Jane E. Sullivan, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences, Feinberg

Ana Arjona, Associate Professor, Political Science

Alex Birdwell, Associate Professor of Instruction, Segal Design Institute

Anna Parkinson, Associate Professor, Department of German

Angela Y. Lee, Mechthild Esser Nemmers Professor of Marketing

Kevin Buckelew, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Mark Beeman, Professor, Department of Psychology

Kim Hoffmann, Clinical Associate Professor, Segal Design Institute

Janice Mejia, Associate Professor of Instruction, Industrial Engineering & Management Sciences

TJ Billard, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies

Elise De Los Santos, lecturer, Medill

Renee Engeln, Professor of Instruction, Psychology

Ann Shola Orloff, Professor of Sociology and (by courtesy) Political Science, Board of Lady Managers of the Columbian Exposition Chair

Ipek Kocaomer Yosmaoglu, Associate Professor, History Department

Bruce G. Carruthers, Professor of Sociology

Mark W Hauser, Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Program for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Josh Honn, Humanities and Prison Education Librarian, University Libraries

Becca Greenstein, STEM Librarian, University Libraries 

Robert Porter, Professor of Economics 

Stacy Benjamin, Clinical Professor, Segal Design Institute 

Julia A. Behrman, Assistant Professor, Sociology

Dai Horiuchi, Assistant Professor, Dept of Pharmacology, Feinberg School of Medicine

Nina Gurianova, Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures

Ashish Koul, Assistant Professor, History Department 

Emily Maguire, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Prof. Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, History

Jennifer Young, Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries 

CJ Heckman, Professor, Neuroscience 

Steven Epstein, Professor of Sociology and John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities 

Hector Carrillo, Professor of Sociology and Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Jason Kruse, Undergraduate Engagement Librarian, University Libraries 

Dean Karlan, Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance, Kellogg School of Management

Elizabeth Lenaghan, Associate Professor of Instruction, Cook Family Writing Program

Joe Mathewson, Professor, Medill 

Kasey Evans, Associate Professor, English/Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Jules Law, Professor of English

Ashty Karim, Research Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering 

Peter Slevin, Professor, Medill 

Ian Kelly, Ambassador in Residence, Center in International and Area Studies 

Aaron Shaw, Associate Professor, Communication Studies 

Keith Woodhouse, Associate Professor of History 

Sarah McFarland Taylor, Associate Professor, Religious Studies 

Mérida M. Rúa, Professor, Latina and Latino Studies 

Hannah Feldman, Associate Professor, Department of Art History/MENA/CLS

Jeff Rice, Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Political Science 

Mark Sheldon, Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Philosophy

Zach Wood-Doughty, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Computer Science

Will Reno, Professor, Political Science

Rachel Tappan, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences      

Tristram Wolff, Assistant Professor of English & Comp Lit Studies

Liz Trubey, Professor of Instruction, English   

Liz Son, Associate Professor, Theatre

Almaz Mesghina, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Psychology

Michael Smutko, Professor of Instruction, Physics & Astronomy

Jason Seawright, Professor, Political Science 

Satoru Suzuki, Professor, Psychology and Interdepartmental Neuroscience

Alejandra Uslenghi, Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese and Comparative Literary Studies 

Doug Kiel, Assistant Professor of History

John M. Alongi, Professor Instruction, Mathematics

Tracy Vaughn-Manley, Assistant Professor, Black Studies

Mary Finn, Professor of Instruction, Department of English

Karen J. Alter, Norman Dwight Harris Professor of International Relations, Department of Political Science

Daniel Galvin, Professor of Political Science

Adriana Weisleder, Assistant Professor Communication Sciences & Disorders

Robert J. Gordon, Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences

Carson Ingo, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences

Ken Alder, Professor of History

Benjamin Frommer, Associate Professor, Dept. of history

Joanna Grisinger, Associate Professor of Instruction, Center for Legal Studies

Ann C. Gunter, Professor of Art History, Classics, and in the Humanities

Michelle N. Huang, Assistant Professor of English & Asian American Studies

Paul Gillingham, Professor of History

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Political Science

Alvin Tillery, Professor of Political Science

Thrasyvoulos Pappas, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Laura Hein, Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Professor of History

Ava Thompson Greenwell, Professor, Medill

Andrew Miri, Assistant Professor, Neurobiology Department

Mark Witte, Professor of Instruction, Economics

Noelle Sullivan, Professor of Instruction, Program in Global Health Studies

Henry C. Binford, Professor of History, Emeritus

Melissa Macauley, Professor, Department of History

Celia O’Brien, Assistant Professor of Medical Education

Tessie P. Liu, Professor of History and Gender and Sexuality Studies 

Megan Hyska, Assistant Professor, Philosophy

Laurie Shannon, Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of Literature, English Department

Daniel Dombeck, Professor, Department of Neurobiology

Jane Winston, Associate Professor Emerita, French

William Leonard, Professor of Anthropology & Global Health

Paola Zamperini, Asian Languages and Cultures and Gender and Sexuality Studies

Evan Mwangi, Professor of English

Peter Locke, Associate Professor of Instruction, Global Health Studies

Ivuoma Onyeador, Assistant Professor of Management and Organizations

Janice Radway, Walter Dill Scott Professor Emerita of Communication Studies

Rajeev Kinra, Associate Professor of History and Comparative Literature

Jorge Coronado, Professor, Spanish & Portuguese

J.A. Adande, associate professor, Medill

Lina Britto, Associate Professor, History  

Jennifer Tackett, Professor of Psychology 

Jeffrey Masten, Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies

Michael Babinec, Metadata Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries

Jackie Stevens, Professor, Political Science

Matthew Grayson, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Christopher Bush, Associate Professor, French and Italian    

Jim O’Laughlin, Associate Professor of Instruction, Cook Family Writing Program

Erica Weitzman, Associate Professor of German       

Sylvie Romanowski, Professor emerita, French 

Ariel Stess, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Radio/TV/Film 

Stephen F. Eisenman, Professor Emeritus of Art History

Nick Davis, Associate Professor, English and Gender & Sexuality Studies

Jeff Eden, Assistant Professor, Department of History 

Frank Sweis, User Experience Librarian, Northwestern University Libraries

Lance Rips, Professor, Psychology Department

Cristina Lafont, Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Professor of Philosophy 

Mohanbir Sawhney, Associate Dean for Digital Innovation and McCormick Foundation Professor of Technology, Kellogg School of Management 

Gregory S. Carpenter, Harold T. Martin Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School

Jessica Thebus, Professor of Theater

Lucille Kerr, Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Susannah Gottlieb, Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies

Detra Payne, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Theatre

Cynthia Nazarian, Associate Professor, Dept. of French and Italian

Robert Launay, Professor of Anthropology 

Koray Aydin, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

This letter is still collecting signatures and will be updated.

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