Visit to apply.

Applicants must include with this application the following materials:

  1. A cover letter expressing interest and explaining qualifications for the position
  2. A resume or curriculum vita
  3. Teaching history (list course and department)
  4. Any available teaching evaluations
  5. Copy of the undergraduate and graduate transcript (unofficial is fine)
  6. The names and contact information for three references
  7. A list of your financial support history at the University (how many terms of financial support received to date by term/year, department, description, appointment fraction)

Course Description

ORGSTUDY 203. Activism (Prof. Michael Heaney)

This course is about the practice of democracy. It examines the notion that when ordinary citizens work together for a common purpose, they have the potential to bring about intentional changes in their social, political, and environmental reality. Of course, not all citizens get involved  in trying to change the world. Sometimes citizens are successful in achieving change and other times they are not. Sometimes change occurs only after decades or centuries of organized struggle. Hence, this class addresses questions, such as (1) Why do some citizens engage in activism, while others do not? (2) Which tactics tend to be most effective and under what conditions are they effective? (3) Why have some movements succeeded, while others have  failed? (4) How can an individual citizen engage effectively in activism? 

Learning about activism requires reflection on the struggles of movements past, as well as  hands-on engagement with the struggles of today. Activism cannot be understood only by reading books. At the same time, it cannot be understood without reading books. Hence, this class combines a review of writings by scholars and practitioners of social movements, while at the same time requiring students to plan and engage directly in activism themselves. 

Neither this course, nor its instructional staff, embraces or rejects any ideology, movement, or political project. The working assumption of the course is that the same organizational processes and techniques are useful for a wide range of causes, issues, and ideologies. The goal of the course  is to help empower students as citizens so that they might effect change in the world over the course of their lives.

Anticipated Class Schedule: Mon/Wed 11:30am - 1:00pm
Estimated effort for the positions: 1 GSI position (.25 FTE)
Benefits: Tuition waiver and stipend as provided in UM/GEO Agreement


  • Meet with the Professor for the course on a weekly basis
  • Attend all class sessions and assist with in-class exercises
  • Read all assigned materials prior to the class for which they are assigned
  • Meet with students by appointment
  • Grade and comment on assignment and exams
  • The GSI may be asked to give one or two lectures to the class

Required Qualifications

Minimum qualification is current enrollment in any graduate program at the University of Michigan.

In compliance with Appendix A of the 2011-2014 UM/GEO agreement (see pp. 90-92 of the  UM/GEO agreement), the College of LSA requires that potential GSIs whose undergraduate  medium of instruction is not English be evaluated for effective proficiency in classroom English. Effective proficiency includes fluent and intelligible speech, the ability to understand the English spoken by the undergraduate students, the ability to produce organized, coherent explanations, and the ability to contribute to the development of interactions with their students. As part of the training and testing, graduate students are required to demonstrate their effective proficiency by taking the GSI-OET conducted by independent evaluators from the Testing Division at the English Language Institute and a faculty representative from the department in which the prospective GSI will be teaching. 

Desired Qualifications

Prior professional employment in an activist or advocacy organization is especially desirable. Prior volunteer activism or study of social movements a plus.

Contact Information

Denise Yekulis
Program Assistant, 713 Dennison-1042

Decision Making Process

All applications will be submitted for review to the faculty member teaching the course. After review of applications and possible interviews, the decisions will be made by the Professor of the course.

Selection Process

Selection criteria include merit, teaching experience, other training or experience which may be required and explicit to the teaching goals/requirements of a specific course, applicants previous receipt of financial aid, availability of funding, and relevance to graduate training. 

Decisions will be made and offers extended by the week of December 8, 2014. Depending on enrollments, an offer may be extended earlier. Applicants may request the status of their application from the program at any time.

GEO Contract Information

The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, or  any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Information for the Office of Institutional Equity may be found at and for the University Ombuds.

Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute  openings for available positions. Upon request, any applicant denied employment will receive, within fourteen (14) calendar days, a written explanation of the reasons for denial of employment, and/or an in-person interview with the hiring agent(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time. In the event that an Employee does not receive his or her preferred assignment, he or she can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agents(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.  

This position, as posted, is subject to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550. 

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.