Our History



Starting as a small group of students in 2014, Teachers and Researchers United has advocated for better healthcare for graduate students and fought to stop the closure of the Humanities Center. We have offered solidarity to campus workers and, more recently, to all victims of the Trump administration's far-right agenda.

Dean Newman's Strategic Plan

In November 2013, Dean Katherine Newman discloses a plan for the restructuring of graduate studies (the "Dean's Strategic Plan”), which aims at making Hopkins more competitive vis-à-vis peer institutions.The plan raises deep apprehension among the graduate and faculty population: TRU vocalizes concerns through a series of Town Hall meetings and letters to the Dean’s office, and range from the plan's impact on the intellectual rigor of the research produced, to the implications for the quality of undergraduate programs. The plan's provision to increase the number of undergraduate students while decreasing the number of graduate students over the following years is distressing. The plan will increase TA workload. This would potentially harm research productivity and teaching quality by graduate workers.

November 2013

Dean Newman's Strategic Plan Final Report

On December 18th, 2013, the Strategic Plan Final Report is issued, and the administration proceeds with the implementation of the plan. (By Fall of 2017, many departments begin to feel the negative effects feared by faculty and graduate students in 2013.)

Read more December 2013

TRU makes its first steps

In the aftermath of the implementation of the Strategic Plan, a group of students come together to discuss the implications of the plan. Why did the administration fail to consult or listen to graduate students as they made big decisions around our working conditions? How can we change this? What do other students think about this? How can we build collective power?

Fall 2014

Talking to graduate workers across campus

TRU meets with students from different departments to discuss what they would like to see improved and how they would like to achieve such changes. During these meetings TRU gathers extensive information about a variety of concerns that affect graduate workers, including stipends, instability of funding, lack of affordable childcare and other parental concerns, workplace exploitation, and poor healthcare coverage. Graduate students express the desire to be recognized by the administration for their integral role in the university.

Spring 2015

Healthcare campaign

As graduate workers at Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, we recognize can’t afford to get sick. Johns Hopkins may boast a top-ranking medical school and world-renowned hospital, but our healthcare plan is so poor that we cannot afford to take care of ourselves in the most routine of ways. For many of us, a $1,000 hospitalization co-pay is financially catastrophic. If you are a graduate student at JHU, you have probably had some bad experiences yourself, or witnessed your friends’ hardship. That is why we made it our priority to pressure the administration to rethink our current healthcare plan and launched an healthcare campaign. Click on the link below for more info on our postcard campaign and our demands.

Read more Fall 2015 - Spring 2017

Save the Humanities Center campaign

In June 2016, in the middle of their summer break, the students of the Humanities Center learn that their department would be shut down as of June 30, 2017. Dean Beverly Wendland made the decision behind closed doors and without public oversight - stranding students and faculty. This set an extremely dangerous precedent at Johns Hopkins. TRU and graduate students in the Humanities Center demand clarity and oppose the closure of the distiniguished 50-year-old department.

Read more Fall 2016

Anti-Muslim ban rally

On February 9th, 2017, hundreds from the JHU community come together on two campuses to protest President Trump's racist, xenophobic executive order. TRU joins other speakers in demanding that Hopkins become a Sanctuary Campus, and that JHU administration provide financial resources as well as full time legal counsel to support students and workers impacted by the ban.

Read more Febuary 9th, 2017

TRU marches for International Women's Day

TRU joins the national strike for gender justice on March 8th, 2017. Women across the country rallied against Trump’s racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrants agenda.

Read more March 8th, 2017

TRU stands in solidarity with SLAC

TRU stands in solidarity with the subcontracted workers at JHU in their struggle for better wages and a 'live near your work' program.

Read more March 17th, 2017