Faculty Senate takes no stance on AAUP report

The Faculty Senate held their last meeting of the semester on Wednesday, April 2 at the Alumni Center to discuss, amongst other things, the American Association of University Professor’s (AAUP) report on the firing of three tenured French professors.
Dr. Joseph Mirando, the president of the university’s chapter of the AAUP, spoke about the AAUP report before the Faculty Senate. According to Dr. Richard Schwartz, Faculty Senate president, the senate took no position on the AAUP report.
The Faculty Senate passed a resolution more than a year ago supporting the three fired French professors calling for their reinstatement.
According to the resolution by the Faculty Senate on Oct. 10, 2010, “Be it therefore resolved that the Faculty Senate strongly recommend the French faculty be reinstated with tenure at rank and salary,” and “be it finally resolved that future decisions regarding termination of tenured faculty follow Board policy and the spirit of tenure.”
Mirando also spoke of the Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education from June 13 through 17. During the conference, he mentioned Southeastern possibly being censured again for the actions of firing the three French professors.
According to the AAUP website, “This list is published for the purpose of informing Association members, the profession at large, and the public that unsatisfactory conditions of academic freedom and tenure have been found to prevail at these institutions. Names are placed on or removed from this censure list by vote of the Association’s annual meeting.”
The censure, however, is specifically placed upon the current administration and “includes the administrative officers and the governing board of the institution. This censure does not affect the eligibility of nonmembers for membership in the Association, nor does it affect the individual rights of members at the institution in question,” according to the website Censure List tab.
“This university must not ignore this,” said Mirando. “This is a stain on our record.”
President John L. Crain released a statement on the AAUP report on April 12, 2012 stating that “its ‘investigation’ team chose to disregard publicly available facts and information regarding this matter.”
“In fact, a multitude of errors have been documented in the same report,” stated Crain. “In addition to the numerous errors in the report, perhaps most disappointing is the magnitude of the disconnect between the AAUP and current reality.”
The decision to put Southeastern on the Censure List has not been decided, but Mirando warned the Faculty Senate not to ignore the AAUP’s report and its findings on the university.
“We have to work right now to get off this list,” said Mirando. “It just simply will not go away.”
More coverage of the AAUP report can be found in previous issues of The Lion’s Roar. To read the AAUP report, search for the report at the AAUP website, www.aaup.org.