AAUP Censures Two Administrations, Removes Two from Censure

Washington, DC—Delegates to the Ninety-ninth Annual Meeting of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) voted on June 15 to place the administrations of Southern University, Baton Rouge (LA) and National Louis University (IL) on the AAUP’s list of censured administrations. The delegates also voted to remove Our Lady of Holy Cross College (LA) and St. Bonaventure University (NY) from the AAUP’s censure list. Censure by the AAUP informs the academic community that the administration of an institution has not adhered to generally recognized principles of academic freedom and tenure. With these actions, fifty-two institutions are currently on the censure list.

The full list of censured administrations is available at http://www.aaup.org/our-programs/academic-freedom/censure-list/.

Additionally, the Association deferred any action on its investigating committee’s report, published in January, regarding program closures at the University of Northern Iowa announced in spring 2012. The report concluded that actions by the UNI administration to discontinue 20 percent of the university’s programs and eliminate up to 50 tenured appointments violated basic standards of academic freedom, tenure, and governance. In February, however, the governing board announced the appointment of a new president, who took office on June 1.  Shortly after accepting the appointment, the incoming president expressed his interest in addressing the prospective AAUP censure and subsequently engaged the faculty union (UNI-United Faculty, an AAUP chapter), the faculty senate, and the AAUP’s national staff in discussions of the issues raised in the investigating committee’s report.

In March, the AAUP chapter and the board of regents reached settlements in the cases of faculty members who had been constructively discharged as a result of the program closures, allowing affected faculty members to rescind their retirement agreements and return to their tenured appointments. The administration and the faculty have reported additional progress in recent months to improve academic governance at UNI. As a result, chapter and faculty senate leaders have stated their support for deferring any censure consideration until the 2014 annual meeting, in order to allow time for UNI, under its new administration, to address outstanding issues. The Association’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure commended both the president and the faculty for their willingness to work together on these matters. The committee will monitor events at UNI in the coming year and report back to the annual meeting in 2014.   

Background information and the full investigative reports are available at:

Censured:
Southern University, Baton Rouge
http://www.aaup.org/media-release/aaup-releases-investigative-report-subr

National Louis University
http://www.aaup.org/media-release/no-justification-tenure-terminations-national-louis-university
For more information, please contact Anita Levy.

Deferred Action:
University of Northern Iowa
http://www.aaup.org/report/academic-freedom-and-tenure-university-northern-iowa
For more information, please contact Greg Scholtz.

Removed from Censure:
Our Lady of Holy Cross College
http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/programs/academicfreedom/investrep/2007/LadyHoly.htm
For more information, please contact Jordan Kurland.

St. Bonaventure University
http://www.aaup.org/report/academic-freedom-and-tenurest-bonaventure-university
For more information, please contact Greg Scholtz.

The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance, to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities. The AAUP is a nonprofit professional association headquartered in Washington, DC.

Media Contact: 
Robin Burns
Publication Date: 
Saturday, June 15, 2013