Developing Story: AAUP to Investigate National Louis University

The American Association of University Professors has announced on June 12, 2012 it will investigate National Louis University in Chicago for its cancelation of progams, faculty and departments without appropriate due process, academic freedom and tenure. The three however are intimately related and should not be seen a series of disparate failures.

President Nivine Megahed received two letters dated May 7 and May 21, 2012 that expressed concerns over these actions. AAUP did not get a response to the first letter and warned the university if it did not respond to the second, an investigation would be forthcoming. National Louis University ignored the communication.

NLU is firing tenured and long-serving contingent faculty. Some teach English and science. Their plan was to then rehire adjunct faculty at a lower wage. Their claim of financial stress stopped short of a financial exigency claim that in and of itself would have to be bona fide. This condition was discussed in detail with a formal presentation at the annual meeting of the Illinois Conference of the American Association of University Professor at Concordia University in April.

B. Robert Kreiser, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer/Associate Secretary Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance sent the letter to President Megahed. Investigations could lead to an AAUP censure of a university if the committee report, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and those gathered at the annual meeting in June in Washington, vote for censure. Censure does not mean the faculty is censure. It does not mean the students are censured. It does not mean job listings should be censured. It means the administration is censured. Some universities are not affected by a censure and ignore it. Some presumably attempt to rectify their ways and come into compliance with AAUP-recommended guidelines and due process suggestions.

AAUP usually sends a letter to a university president as an e-mail attachment, followed by snail mail through the postal service. Once a letter is sent electronically, it can be made public as I am doing and have done with its previous letters to NLU.

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