April 1, 2010

AAUP chapter weighs in on policy changes

by Erin Rosacker

On Tuesday, April 6, the Faculty Senate could vote on proposed changes to policies governing the elimination of faculty and academic programs. The executive committee of the ISU chapter of the American Association of University Professors weighed in on the changes in a two-page statement.

In an e-mail to the chapter's mailing list, ISU AAUP president Mack Shelley said the executive committee will submit its recommended amendments to the Faculty Senate. An attached statement (PDF) identified six problems with the senate's proposed policy changes:

  • Faculty are not involved in the determination of financial exigency
  • Administrators, not faculty, make the initial program elimination recommendations
  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty terminations are treated differently
  • The grounds for appealing faculty terminations are too limited
  • A "good faith effort" to place eliminated faculty elsewhere isn't strong enough; the university should make "every effort" to place these faculty
  • The termination notice is based on length of contract instead of length of service

"The proposed revision of Section 3.4 currently before the Faculty Senate has undergone several drafts, and each draft has resulted in a document that is better than the previous one," the statement said. "There are, nonetheless, still several issues that need to be addressed if Section 3.4 is to follow best practices as recommended by the AAUP for protecting tenure and shared governance."