On June 15, the American Association of University Professors at its annual meeting voted unanimously to place National Louis University of Illinois and Southern University, Baton Rouge on its list of censured institutions for violations of academic freedom and tenure.
AAUP First Vice-President Henry Reichman declared, “What happened at National Louis was ominous.” The AAUP report on National Louis University described the administration’s actions as “The Decimation of the Full-Time Faculty.” The administration discontinued fourteen degree and certificate programs and four College of Arts and Sciences departments, and terminated the appointments of 63 faculty members, including 16 with tenure. According to the AAUP, “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struck by how quickly experienced members of the faculty, many of them with decades of service to the institution, had been replaced by a cadre of part-time faculty members with weaker academic credentials.” These actions all took place without declaring any financial exigency, and National Louis largely replaced the fired faculty with lower-paid adjuncts.
Southern University, Baton Rouge fired 19 tenured faculty in response to financial exigency, violating the AAUP’s standards. The AAUP report noted, “decisions about which appointments to terminate were made without faculty involvement or the opportunity for a hearing before a faculty committee for those who received notice.”
The AAUP also voted to remove two institutions from the censure list, St. Bonaventure University and Our Lady of Holy Cross College.
The AAUP approved a Constitutional Amendment which will move the AAUP from an annual election system to a biennial election system, and council terms will go from 3 years to 4 years. The Amendment also changed the name of the AAUP’s leader from General Secretary to Executive Director.
The AAUP also passed a resolution expressing support for the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act to reduce the interest rate on student loans, a resolution outlining the principles a college president should uphold, and a resolution calling for repeal of CUNY’s Pathways curriculum.