Once again, whether it is the Finkelstein persecution at DePaul, the Namita Goswami case at DePaul, the John Boyle tenure travesty at Northeastern Illinois University, Illinois is the center of the academic freedom and tenure struggle in the United States. Also throw in the adjunct struggles at Columbia College and Saint Xavier, and you can see the picture. National Louis even in the absence of financial exigency, fired half of its full-time professors in the last two years, including sixteen with tenure!, and then goes out and hires slave-labour adjuncts to take their place. NLU shuts down four academic departments and fourteen (14) academic programs only to restore many of the courses that are then taught by contingent faculty off the tenure stream.
Such lawlessness is a disgrace to postsecondary education and nothing more than academic tyranny on the part of President Nivine Megahed. And now NLU faces the real prospects of an AAUP censure come this June at its annual meeting in the military-theme park of Washington, District of Columbia! Such egregious violations of human rights, labour rights and the sanctity of tenure should be resisted “by any means necessary” within the fabric of non-violent civil disobedience. That includes boycotts, strikes, sit-ins and is not restricted to professorial reports and blog posts! The corporatisation of the American university creates fabulously wealthy six-figured (sometimes seven) administrators who are utterly impervious to the health, welfare and economic needs of their professoriate. They are here to run a business and it shows!!
Scholars and teachers, whether full time or contingent slave-labour making $2000 a course, are merely appendages of the machine. Commodity fetishism rules and the cancer of capitalism without mercy spreads throughout the sham of what we call post-secondary education in the land of guns, death penalties and drone kills decided in the White House.
All college administrators need to ask themselves this question.
The American Association of University Professors carefully investigated these dismissals and have issued the report linked below.
Academic Freedom and Tenure: National Louis University
This report deals with the National Louis University administration’s actions in spring 2012 to discontinue nine degree programs and five nondegree certificate programs, to close four departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, and to terminate the appointments of at least sixty-three full-time faculty members, sixteen with tenure. Administrators cited financial problems and the likelihood of deficit budgets for 2012 and 2013, but at no point did they assert that a condition of financial exigency existed.
The investigating committee concluded that the administration, in terminating the appointments of more than sixty faculty members without having demonstrated cause for dismissal or a state of financial exigency, acted in violation of AAUP-supported standards. The committee further concluded that the role the administration afforded the faculty before, during, and after the decisions on program discontinuance and appointment termination was grossly inadequate. 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.