A Professor Speaks Out

Photo of Professor Mary Gray
Professor Mary Gray American University

A devoted cadre cleans AU and feeds its students, faculty and staff. But these employees do not have the same benefits as others who work on campus.  As an educational institution AU could offer a benefit proven effective in promoting diversity and inclusion for the university and career enhancement for the employees: free tuition for AU courses for these “outsourced” employees the same as for those faculty and staff directly employed by AU.

Service workers have also suffered from a lack of retirement benefits at AU.Many of the outsourced employees would like to retire from their physically demanding labor.  But for many years they, unlike AU’s directly employed workers, had no pension benefit payment set aside for them – in some case for as much as 19 years from 1981 to 2001.  As a result there’s little – very little – money in their pension fund on which to retire.  And of course, Social Security benefits are minimal since much of their work was at close to minimum wage.  AU should chip in to help, for example, Leila Williams– who has worked here for 51 years.

Professor Mary Gray
Department of Math and Statistics
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: 202-885-3171


Some of the Workers Who Can’t Retire

Is American University a Moral Failure?

How to Solve the Retirement Crisis with No Cost to Students

What Can You Do Today?

Actions at Other Schools: The Franklin and Marshall Model

American University Students and Service Workers

The Great Cover Up, Part I: AU’s Board of Trustees Lost $91 Million to a Bank and Didn’t Tell Anyone

The Great Cover Up, Part II: American University Cuts Back on the Student Newspaper, Now It Publishes in Print Only Twice a Semester

A Survey of Educational Benefits at Universities in the District of Columbia

Some of the Workers Who Can’t Retire at American University

Photograph of Christine Hamlett-Williams.
Christine Hamlett-Williams has worked at AU for over 36 years. At age 71, she can’t afford to retire because the pension she was promised by American University was not funded after Marriott took over food services.

Percy Harris, age 76, has worked
at AU for 39 years. He said that he can’t afford to retire.

Currently working as a food server in the Terrace Dining Room, Leila Williams is now 80. She has prepared or served food to students at AU for over 53 years. She says she can’t afford to retire.