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.
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
OCT 22 While Govs. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry attempt to fan the flames of Fox Newsian hysteria into viable presidential hopes with talk of building walls to keep out the Ebola, LA Times columnist Mike Hiltzik gives them some national press they probably don't want: if you want to save lives, he says, try accepting Medicaid expansion. Wups!
OCT 22 It's hard to pick out the most interesting part of this post on Mother Jones about Texas lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick (His claim that migrant workers will bring leprosy to Texas? That Connie Chung's show should be called "Slanted Eye to Eye"?) But of course we must go with the comments about our very own Duck people, and how they are the spokesmen for God.
OCT 22 Advocate owner (and rich guy) John Georges must be doing a little happy dance today. As his paper reports here, the Times Picayune is further reducing its footprint in NOLA, by laying off 100 people and moving their printing operations to Mobile. (Yes, Alabama.) Does this mean the Advocate won?
OCT 22 Baton Rouge's downtown is now starting to show significant growth, this post on DIG Baton Rouge reports. With new construction, new restaurants and new housing units popping up, the downtown area is finally starting to look like a capital city, the story says.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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