All posts by Peter Schmidt

by

AAUP Considers Paying Adjuncts in Its Leadership Posts

Washington — Taking a leadership position in an academic association can be a costly proposition for adjunct faculty members, many of whom have to devote long hours to several teaching gigs just to make enough money to get by. If they cannot persuade one of the colleges that employ them to grant them release time for association work, they may have to sacrifice a lot of potential earnings to be a voice for their segment of higher education’s work force.

The American Association of University Pro…

by

Court Rules Iowa State U. Officials Violated Student Activists’ Speech Rights

Iowa State University administrators trampled on the free-speech rights of student activists by barring their use of the university’s trademarks to promote changes in marijuana laws, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit ruled on Tuesday.

A three-judge panel of the court held that Iowa State administrators violated the First Amendment by considering the views espoused by the campus chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in denying it permission to use the…

by

Northern Illinois U. Used Adjunct-Hiring Policies to Give Consultants Sweetheart Deals

Northern Illinois University administrators used hiring policies intended for part-time instructors to circumvent state bidding requirements and make sweetheart job offers to consultants, a state investigation has found.

As discussed in depth on Wednesday in the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, the state inspector general’s office determined that administrators strayed beyond regular employment policies and procurement procedures to award more than $1 million in work to five consultants over roughly two …

by

NLRB Issues Second Decision Allowing the Unionization of Undergraduates

The National Labor Relations Board has cleared the way for the unionization of student employees of the University of Chicago’s libraries, marking the second time this spring that it has declared undergraduate students eligible to bargain collectively.

In a ruling handed down on Tuesday, Peter Sung Ohr, director of the NLRB’s regional office in Chicago, rejected the university’s argument that the paid student workers in its libraries should be precluded from unionization because its relation…

by

Nashville State Is Accused of Spying on Investigation of Its Oppressive Climate

Nashville State Community College maintains such an oppressive climate for its faculty members that it sought to monitor and interfere with efforts to ask them about it, according to a report commissioned by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Nashville State’s executives sought to surreptitiously identify which faculty members were being confidentially interviewed by investigators from Middle Tennessee State University. Several administrators, including George H. Van Allen, the college’s presid…

by

Tennessee Law Is Hailed as Offering Unprecedented Protection of Campus Speech

A new Tennessee law prohibits public colleges from disinviting speakers based on their controversial viewpoints or from charging student groups higher security fees to host speakers expected to trigger unrest.

Among its other provisions, the measure, signed on Tuesday by Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, requires colleges to adopt broad protections of free expression consistent with a landmark statement adopted in 2015 by the University of Chicago. It also bars public colleges from limiting studen…

by

Duke Professor Resigns After Facing Discipline for Challenging Diversity Training

Paul Griffiths, a professor of Catholic theology at Duke University, has resigned after facing discipline for his barbed criticisms of diversity training, a fellow faculty member confirmed.

Mr. Griffiths, who did not respond to emails seeking comment, has abruptly announced his decision to resign, effective in the spring of 2018, according to Thomas Pfau, a professor of English and fellow member of the Duke Divinity School’s faculty. The resignation followed months in which Mr. Griffiths clashed…

by

Judge Rules Against Marquette Professor Over Public Rebuke of TA

Marquette University was justified in disciplining a professor who had publicly rebuked a graduate teaching assistant over her handling of classroom discussions of homosexuality, a state judge ruled on Thursday.

The judge rejected the argument by John McAdams, a tenured associate professor of political science, that academic freedom had given him the right to attack the graduate teaching assistant by name in a blog post. Noting that the student subsequently received threatening emails from the b…

by

NLRB Extends ‘Microunit’ Concept to Efforts to Organize Faculty Members

The National Labor Relations Board has declared non-tenure-track faculty members at Vanderbilt University eligible to form separate collective-bargaining units for their respective schools, marking the first time that faculty members will be eligible to gain union representation in such a piecemeal manner.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, Lisa Y. Henderson, acting director of the NLRB’s regional office in Atlanta, held that non-tenure-track faculty members at separate Vanderbilt schools were n…

by

Organizers Put Off Union Vote by George Washington U.’s Resident Advisers

Updated (5/3/2017, 3:19 p.m.) with word that union organizers on the campus did not agree with the decision by the Service Employees International Union to cancel the election.

The National Labor Relations Board has canceled a Wednesday vote on unionization by resident advisers at George Washington University at the request of the effort’s organizers at the Service Employees International Union.

The news was greeted with surprise by the committee of students that had been leading the campaign fo…