Academic Freedom and Tenure: National Louis University

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This report deals with the National Louis University administration’s actions in spring 2012 to discontinue nine degree programs and five nondegree certificate programs, to close four departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, and to terminate the appointments of at least sixty-three full-time faculty members, sixteen with tenure. Administrators cited financial problems and the likelihood of deficit budgets for 2012 and 2013, but at no point did they assert that a condition of financial exigency existed.

The investigating committee concluded that the administration, in terminating the appointments of more than sixty faculty members without having demonstrated cause for dismissal or a state of financial exigency, acted in violation of AAUP-supported standards. The committee further concluded that the role the administration afforded the faculty before, during, and after the decisions on program discontinuance and appointment termination was grossly inadequate. The committee was particularly struck by how quickly experienced members of the faculty, many of them with decades of service to the institution, had been replaced by a cadre of part-time faculty members with weaker academic credentials.