Kirstein to Speak on “New McCarthyism” at Lewis University: A Note on Shared Governance

Peter N. Kirstein will speak on “The New McCarthyism: Academic Freedom and Shared Governance During Time of War,” at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. The event will be in the Learning Resource Center and is sponsored by the Lewis University chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

The remarks will analyse the decline of academic freedom since the battle over New York and Washington, D.C.  on September 11, 2001 including the inquisition against Norman Finkelstein and Terri Ginsberg. The author’s own struggle to defend his tenure and progressive worldview amidst a suspension will be discussed. Issues germane to Lewis University in the areas of academic freedom and shared governance will consume the second half of the remarks.

Shared governance refers to decision making in higher education that incorporates governing boards, administration and faculty input. Faculty are considered officers of a university or college and are to be involved in most areas that affect university life. Some administrations construe shared governance as a threat to their power and influence; others view the professorate as a vital resource for innovation and information.

Certainly some decisions do not lend themselves to shared governance in which either the administration or professorate has unilateral power. The faculty is not normally involved in investment portfolio management of an endowment for example or the appointment of members to the Board of Trustees. Conversely, the administration is not normally involved in curricular decisions concerning the introduction of  new course or in approving a faculty unit’s decision to invite an outside speaker. Yet most areas lend themselves to shared governance: selecting the institution’s president, curricular decisions with regard to new programmes, budgeting, library management, strategic planning and student affairs that are related to education.

Peter N. Kirstein will speak on “The New McCarthyism: Academic Freedom and Shared Governance During Time of War,” at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill. on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. The event will be in the Learning Resource Center and is sponsored by the Lewis University chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

The remarks will analyse the decline of academic freedom since the battle over New York and Washington, D.C.  on September 11, 2001 including the inquisition against Norman Finkelstein and Terri Ginsberg. The author’s own struggle to defend his tenure and progressive worldview amidst a suspension will be discussed. Issues germane to Lewis University in the areas of academic freedom and shared governance will consume the second half of the remarks.

Shared governance refers to decision making in higher education that incorporates governing boards, administration and faculty input. Faculty are considered officers of a university or college and are to be involved in most areas that affect university life. Some administrations construe shared governance as a threat to their power and influence; others view the professorate as a vital resource for innovation and information.

Certainly some decisions do not lend themselves to shared governance in which either the administration or professorate has unilateral power. The faculty is not normally involved in investment portfolio management of an endowment for example or the appointment of members to the Board of Trustees. Conversely, the administration is not normally involved in curricular decisions concerning the introduction of  new course or in approving a faculty unit’s decision to invite an outside speaker. Yet most areas lend themselves to shared governance: selecting the institution’s president, curricular decisions with regard to new programmes, budgeting, library management, strategic planning and student affairs that are related to education.

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