P-fac filed a grievance alleging the violation of Columbia’s academic freedom policy and violation of the collective bargaining agreement. Â We are pleased to announce that the Illinois American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Committee A has issued a report that suggests there was a violation of academic freedom in support of P-fac member, IymenÂ Chehade.Â The report sent to the college by AAUPÂ committee A urges Columbia to comply with its own academic freedom policies and the policies of AAUP.
This committee A report is significant because the complainant is a part-time faculty member. Â Diana Vallera, P-fac president notes, “The AAUP report is a recognition that the diminishment of academic freedom of a part-time faculty member is a diminishment of academic freedom for all. The fundamental principals of higher education must be protected for all faculty regardless of status if these principals are to persevere.”
P-fac is disturbed by comments that the college gave to theÂ Chronicle of Higher EdÂ Â alleging that the AAUP’s investigation was one-sided and that “the AAUP relied solely on information from one party” when, in fact, Louise Love sent an email to the AAUP in response to its investigation. Â The AAUP did consider and cite this statement in its report.
The new P-facÂ Collective Bargaining AgreementÂ (CBA) contains strong academic freedom protections for P-fac membersÂ (Article V, pp. 9-10). The AAUP report reaffirmed the union’s position that the instructor’s academic freedom had been violated and that the college failed to follow standard practices and procedures in response to a student complaint.
P-fac Steering Committee