Monday, October 25, 2010

Why we need the AAUP

A report in today's Inside Higher Ed describes how Bethune-Cookman University violated standards of academic freedom, due process, and the institution's own procedures in dismissing several faculty members, vividly demonstrates why we need the AAUP. The AAUP has produced a meticulous report on the dismissals.

The ostensible reasons for the dismissals vary, and include allegations of sexual harassment, failure to have an appropriate degree, and the need for the university to save money. The professors affected include some with tenure and some who had taught for many years without tenure. In theory, the various reasons cited by Bethune-Cookman could be legitimate reasons for a college to take action against faculty members, even those with tenure. But the AAUP investigation found two patterns across the various cases: a lack of due process and an apparent correlation between opposing the senior administration (in particular, the president, Trudie Kibbe Reed) and losing a job.

The AAUP also found that many of the accusations made by the administration were sketchy or false.

...the faculty members who lost their jobs due to financial difficulties were dismissed without the university declaring "financial exigency," typically a requirement for such dismissals...the association found that shortly after ending the employment of those professors, the university created new positions that were quite similar to the ones held by the professors, and didn't offer them their jobs back -- again suggesting a reason other than financial crisis for getting rid of these faculty members.

No comments:

Post a Comment