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AAUP Annual Meeting Report

By John K. Wilson

The AAUP at its 2016 annual meeting on June 18, voted unanimously to censure the administrations of the College of Saint Rose, for the dismissal of 23 tenured and tenure-track professors, and the University of Missouri (Columbia), for the Board’s dismissal of Melissa Click without due process.

The members also rejected a proposal to give Committee A authority to remove censure from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after meeting some additional requirements. Several members from Illinois spoke against the removal of censure at this time, urging that the shared governance process at Illinois should be allowed to continue.

The AAUP members also voted to remove the 1984 censure of Metropolitan Community College (Missouri), and the 1963 censure of Grove City College (Pennsylvania), which was the longest-lasting censure in AAUP history. A president emeritus of Grove City College drove to the home of the affected professor, now in his 90s, to offer an apology as part of the reforms for lifting censure.

The AAUP annual meeting also unanimously placed the University of Iowa and Union County College (New Jersey) on its list of sanctioned institutions for violating standards of academic governance, and removed Lindenwood University from this list.

Ryan Golden and Rebecca Schisler of the Mountain Echo at Mount St. Mary’s University received the Martin D. Snyder Award for Excellence in Student Coverage of Higher Education for their work revealing that the college president wanted to purge students from campus, comparing it to drowning bunnies. In response, the president fired their faculty advisor, Ed Egan, and another professor. Eventually, the professors were reinstated and the president resigned.

The Iris Molotsky Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education was given to Jon Marcus and Holly Hacker of the Hechinger Report for their article, “The rich-poor divide on America’s college campuses is getting wider, fast.” Marcus spoke about ”the division that exists in higher education” where “the dumbest rich kids go to better colleges than the smartest poor kids.” He noted, “Higher education is cementing people in place. It may even be making things worse.”