The Reader has covered several recent issues and developments at Northeastern Illinois University. One of those is the tenure-denial case of linguistics professor, John Boyle. The American Association of University Professors–Illinois Conference through its Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure submitted a report to NEIU President Sharon Hahs that requested a reconsideration of the decision to deny Professor Boyle tenure and promotion to associate professor. The president to her credit did respond to our report but indicated there were reasons for the denial of tenure that were not available to our investigation. President Hahs indicated that she could not reveal the substance of these issues due to the ongoing process of litigation. I think some skepticism of the presence of other unrevealed factors for the denial of tenure that were apparently not known to four separate units of review is in order:
This is the Reader paragraph that includes the AAUP-ILL Conference reference:
Hahs cited what appear to be technicalities: a missed deadline for submitting a document (Boyle had sent it to the wrong office) and a complaint (contested by Boyle) that in the course of his six-year probationary period he’d suggested to a student that she switch her minor from another department to linguistics. The AAUP’s Illinois Committee on Academic Freedom advised Hahs in July that her rejection, “without . . . substantive and specific reasons for reversal,” was unacceptable.