The American Association of University Professors voted Saturday during its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., to censure LSU and a pair of universities in the University of Louisiana System — Northwestern State in Natchitoches and Southeastern in Hammond — bringing to five the number of state institutions of higher learning on the AAUP’s censure list now numbering 52. Nicholls State University and Our Lady of Holy Cross College were already on the censure list for AAUP-perceived mistreatment of professors.
“Censure by the AAUP informs the academic community that the administration of an institution has not adhered to the generally recognized principles of academic freedom and tenure jointly formulated by the AAUP and the Association of American Colleges and Universities and endorsed by more than 200 professional and educational organizations,” the group writes in an introduction to the censure reports.
LSU was censured because of the ouster of Ivor van Heerden, a nationally recognized coastal researcher who was intensely and publicly critical of the Army Corps of Engineers’ role in the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. The AAUP also cites the case of LSU biology professor Dominique Homberger, who was removed from the classroom by LSU for alleged harsh grading practices.
Northwestern and Southeastern were censured for using “program discontinuances as an excuse to get rid of selected tenured faculty members” in response to state budget cuts, the AAUP says.
Immediately on the heels of the reports’ release Saturday, UL System President Randy Moffett went to bat for his universities, citing $187 million in budget cuts since 2008 with an additional $54 million slated for next year.
“If the AAUP wants to be a relevant organization, its efforts would be better served by working with higher education in advocating for adequate funding of institutions, thus mitigating the need for universities to close programs and associated faculty positions,” Moffett writes, adding, “Placing universities on a censure list has little, if any, practical implication as the AAUP is an advocacy group that holds no authority over higher education institutions and represents less than four percent of instructional staff at degree-granting institutions nationwide. In fact, all institutions currently on its list maintain full accreditation, which is a true, independent measure of quality delivery of educational services.”
Read the full AAUP reports on LSU, Northwestern and Southeastern here. Moffett’s full response is here.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 12 Until recently, it seemed like NOLA Mayor Mitch Landrieu was going to skate to re-election. But John Maginnis writes in this post that he may face some unexpected opposition, from Michael Bagneris, who currently serves as a civil court judge for the city. The judge isn't saying he's thinking about it, because then he would have to step down, but let's just say Maginnis won't be surprised if Bagneris turns up to qualify for the job.
DEC 12 Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, chair of the Republican Study Committee, has dumped the RSC's director, this post on Politico tells us. The director, Paul Teller, is accused of leaking conversations with lawmakers, the post says, and "actively working against" strategies that committee members had come up with. Hmmmm....
DEC 12 Jeremy Alford gives us the latest on David Duke in this LaPolitics post. Duke is back in the headlines because he was expelled from Italy recently, accused of trying to start a Neo-Nazi group there. Alford's pulled some interesting bits from the recent media coverage and some older pieces as well about this state embarrassment.
DEC 12 So Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the nation, we've known that for a while. But this Picayune story tells us about a new report by Human Rights Watch that says our laws and law enforcement practices are to blame. Those practices impact two routes to infection: unprotected sex and shared needles, the story says.
DEC 12 Jim Brown blogs about a book, "Dumbest Generation," and bemoans our inability to attain a more positive adjective. Jim wants to know: with our constant, unfettered access to information, why aren't we greater? He may be answering the question himself, urging more focus on community service and less on self-enrichment.
DEC 12 Here's an interesting post from DIG Baton Rouge about the proposed City of St. George in Baton Rouge. This piece focuses on the school district the organizers want to create. They're confident they won't need to raise taxes (because, of course, they'll be grabbing huge chunks of tax dollars -- or at least they think so) to build new schools, the story says.
DEC 12 After weeks of "political gimmicks" aimed at trying to force a vote on something most people really don't understand, Sen. David Vitter has decided he will do exactly what Sen. Mary Landrieu already has done for his own Congressional health insurance, the Advocate reports here. Senate leaders offered him a vote, but he didn't want it -- some say because he hadn't milked all the political juice out of this alleged issue yet.
DEC 12 The fact that "amateurs" are running the education system in Louisiana is hurting our children, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. In support of his argument, he goes through the recent vote on Common Core in Baton Rouge, and explains what the data showed. It's not a pretty picture.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly