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Alex Simon, the AAUP, Alaska, Academic Freedom

The following from Alex Simon, who has rejoined our faculty after several years in Alaska.

   Thanks for the invitation to blog. I will definitely join the local AAUP chapter.  Here is the original article which resulted in me having a very public confrontation with Chancellor Pugh over academic freedom. I am convinced that without a union I would have been fired.

http://juneauempire.com/stories/020509/loc_385027568.shtml
Here is an editorial that AAUP Secretary Gary Rhoades wrote in response to the legislator’s threats to cut university funding:
http://juneauempire.com/stories/020809/opi_385924086.shtml

And here is an article which appeared in Inside Higher Education regarding the confrontation I had with Pugh regarding academic freedom.
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/02/10/sex

Open Letter to Ian Wilson about the Role of the AAUP at UVU

18 October 2011 An Open Letter to Ian Wilson, Vice President for Academic Affairs, UVU
Dear Ian,             I’ve been thinking a lot about our meeting last week. In several ways it was an important event, certainly for those of us in the AAUP, perhaps for you as well and for the University in general. In two decades of work with the AAUP, first at BYU and then at UVSC/UVU, I have often spoken with administrators about matters of concern, but only when we pushed a specific issue and then in an adversarial role.             Your invitation, then, with no current issue at stake, was unprecedented and even generous. It extends a pattern you have set over the years and especially since becoming VPAA, a pattern of openness to competing ideas and of concern for the opinions of all of us who work together at the University. Your speech in August to the CHSS faculty in which you noted that the University must be a place that fosters the best interests of its faculty as well as its students w…

Shared Governance and the UVU "White Paper"

AAUP Report: Academic Freedom Violations at LSU

A new AAUP report finds violations of academic freedom in two cases at Louisiana’s flagship public institution, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The cases were investigated and the report written by a committee of AAUP members.

The subject of the first case is Ivor van Heerden, a researcher serving since 1992 in a non-tenure-track appointment. For years, his work in coastal erosion and in hurricane- and flood-related issues brought him public prominence and consistently favorable evaluations. The attitude of LSU administrators quickly changed, however, after van Heerden found that a main cause of flooding after Hurricane Katrina was structural failure of the levees overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Administrators, anticipating cooperation and support from the Corps in hurricane recovery projects, did not appreciate being linked in the media with these findings. They took steps to restrain van Heerden’s public activities, to distance LSU from those activities, and,…

Corporatization of American Universities

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[from the Chronicle of Higher Education] July 17, 2011 The Strategic Plan: Neither Strategy Nor Plan, but a Waste of Time Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle Enlarge Image By Benjamin Ginsberg In his new book, The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters, Benjamin Ginsberg argues that the explosive growth in administration, the decline in faculty influence, and the institutional corporatization of American universities contributes to a loss of intellectual rigor. Here is an excerpt. Until recent years, colleges engaged in little formal planning. Today, however, virtually every college and university in the nation has an elaborate strategic plan. Indeed, whenever a college hires a new president, his or her first priority is usually the crafting of a new strategic plan. As in Orwell's 1984, all mention of the previous administration's plan, which probably had been introduced with great fanfare only a few years earlier, is instantly er…

Elimination of Philosophy at UNLV