Wednesday, October 2, 2019

UVU Faculty Senate Resolution on Professor Mike Shively

Yesterday the UVU Faculty Senate overwhelmingly passed the following resolution (in response to which one Shively family member said: "this warms my heart"):

Resolution to Acknowledge the Service of Dr. Michael Shively to the 
UVU Faculty Senate and to the UVU Community at Large
Resolution #
The Faculty Senate of Utah Valley University,
Whereas: 
Professor Michael Shively, former President of the Faculty Senate, having joined the UVU faculty in 1992, having served as Department Chair, having excelled as the Faculty Athletic Representative, having taught thousands of students in his rigorous anatomy and physiology classes, having been honored with numerous teaching awards, did pass away on the evening of August 19, 2019,
now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Faculty Senate of Utah Valley University, on behalf of its members:
Gratefully acknowledges Dr. Michael Shively’s service as Faculty Senate President, his service to the students of Utah Valley University, and his service to the Department of Biology and to the University in general.

Movers: Lyn Ellen Bennett, Senator-History & Political Science 
Kelli Potter, Senator-Philosophy 
Alan Parry, Senator-Mathematics

October 1, 2019

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

CIVILITY

The new UVU draft policy on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities refers several times to a responsibility for civility. The AAUP has emphasized the need for civil interactions as we work together at a university, but points out the problems that ensue when civility becomes a criterion for tenure or in termination proceedings.

Here a new essay on civility from the latest issue of the AAUP Journal of Academic Freedom:

https://www.aaup.org/JAF10/compulsory-civility-and-necessity-uncivil-disobedience#.XZQciy2ZM0o

A quotation from the piece:

Some faculty who have been pushed out, fired, bullied, or treated unfairly in tenure and promotion processes have come forward to tell their stories. Steven Salaita is a prime example. He fought back in writing and in court. In 2015 UIUC settled with Salaita for $875,000 and no gag order, but also no job. He writes, “If I could convey a single point about the experience of being fired and ending up as a news story, it would be that oppressive institutions never subdue the agility of mind and spirit. Humans can be disciplined, but humanity comprises a tremendous antidisciplinary force” (Salaita 2015, 4). Noting the administrative rush to issue civility statements and policies, form task forces, and schedule courses following the Salaita firing, AAUP president Rudy Fichtenbaum cautions, “Trying to stifle free expression and academic freedom in the name of civility is at best misguided and at worst a cynical attempt to undermine democracy.” He notes that some of the most important gains for women and racialized groups were due to “uncivil behavior” (Fichtenbaum 2014), or what Crenshaw and others label “backtalk.”

Civility is wonderful as an aspirational goal. It can be devastating when required.