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American Association of University Professors

Minutes of the fall meeting, Saturday, September 26, 2009

The fall meeting was convened at 10:00 a.m. at Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas) in room 212 of the Student Union. Our conference was welcomed to the campus by the KSU AAUP chapter president, Donna Potts and Kansas State University President, Kirk Schulz. Keynote speakers were Dr. Donna Potts - Improving Faculty Morale and Dr. Joe Yanik - Academic Freedom in the Sciences.

Business Meeting - 12:30pm

Call to order: Jon Scheinman, President

1) The minutes from the Spring 2009 meeting in Kansas City were approved.

2) The treasurer's report was approved as published on the conference website.

3) Elmer Hoyer gave the committee A report. In the situation involving potential denial of tenure of librarians, Donna Potts agreed to contact Patty Bentley, a librarian who serves on the national council.

4) Jon Scheinman discussed his participation in the summer institute, and urged others to attend.

5) The spring '10 meeting will be held at Kansas University on April 23, and Cary Nelson is the invited speaker.

Chapter Reports:

Jon Scheinman, M.D., reported that at KUMC, grievance and dismissal hearings were held for the first time, with one grievant. The AAUP national committee A provided its opinions, and as a result, the Faculty Assembly Steering Committee voted that the grievances filed were issues of Academic Freedom, and that the hearings should proceed. It was also written by AAUP Committee A to the KUMC administration that the selection of the ad hoc committees for the hearings, and the processes proposed, were not in compliance with AAUP standards. No response was received from KUMC administration. The hearings were nevertheless held under those (flawed) conditions, refusing that the hearings on violations academic freedom should be held and reported upon before the dismissal hearings, which were based upon those putative violations.

The ad hoc hearing committee on academic freedom, with administrative selection and approval of members, agreed that on two counts, Academic Freedom was infringed. The executive vice chancellor denied that determination, and refused repair. On the other counts of violation of academic freedom, the ad hoc committee denied the authority of the Faculty Assembly to determine the definition of academic freedom, and substituted their own definition of "fairness", and agreed with administration.

The ad hoc committee for dismissal, with administrative selection and approval of members, including non-tenured faculty, reporting before the report from the academic freedom committee, affirmed the process employed by the executive Vice chancellor and her reasons for dismissal. The executive vice chancellor issued an order for dismissal, with less than 3 months' notice, with no further salary to be paid. The AAUP committee A issued a letter of complaint to the executive vice chancellor, for failing to follow its own handbook, which required a 12 months salary to be paid.

As follow-up, on Nov 13, 2009, dismissal was effected, enforced by campus security and the Vice Chancellor for operations, giving less than 30 minutes notice, and a permanent no-trespass order.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Potts (KSU)

 
 


 
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