Dear Alma| On Academic Freedom and Due Process

Dear Alma,
What due process protections does the University offer to non-tenure-track faculty?  Can an NTT be fired for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance or departmental planning?
Signed, Specialized Faculty.
Dear SpeshFac,
Alma took a thorough look at the Provost’s new Communication #25, on the treatment of non-tenure-track “specialized faculty.”   It says nothing about due process for these employees.  For some 100%-time  specialized faculty, if they feel perturbed at being told their services are no longer needed, they may be referred to their college and department’s grievance process.  That’s it.

What this means is there is no academic freedom or due process for the non-tenure-track faculty, who teach a growing portion of our students.  If someone, even someone from outside the university  — a newspaper editor, a politician — doesn’t like you, they can get you fired.

Chilling, isn’t it?   Is this how a world-class university should uphold academic freedom?

Sadly, Alma

Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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