P-fac filed a grievance alleging the violation of Columbia’s academic freedom policy and violation of the collective bargaining agreement. 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, Iymen Chehade. The report sent to the college by AAUP 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. 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 the Chronicle of Higher Ed 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. The AAUP did consider and cite this statement in its report.
The new P-fac Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) contains strong academic freedom protections for P-fac members (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