Response to AAUP December 2013 Report
TO: University Community
FROM: Sharon Hahs, President
DATE: December 16, 2013
RE: Response to AAUP December 2013 Report
I write today to share information about a report that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is publishing about Northeastern Illinois University. The University has been involved in a confidential employment matter involving a former faculty member. All available processes and appeals, including union proceedings, were followed and made available.
Disagreeing with the result of the University’s internal processes, the national AAUP chose to involve itself by conducting an investigation in which a committee of the AAUP interviewed its own selection of Northeastern representatives. The administration, including myself, met with the committee but maintained confidentiality of personnel information consistent with our own process. The AAUP is an outsider to University process, plays no role in such procedures, and is not affiliated with our faculty union, the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100 (UPI). The University’s rules and regulations, which have been negotiated with and agreed to by the UPI, incorporate some but not all of the AAUP’s standards. This is common on many campuses.
After the AAUP shared its assessment of the particular situation, the University provided detailed, written objections and explanations rebutting many AAUP conclusions while also preserving the confidentiality of personnel matters. These included citation to publicly-available legal proceedings before a neutral fact-finder that disagreed with the AAUP by determining that Northeastern had not engaged in any retaliatory conduct whatsoever.
The AAUP’s report criticizes the University for, among other things, refusing to be more forthcoming with confidential personnel information. The University wants to clarify that we:
•abide by and will continue to abide by Northeastern’s own rules and regulations, formed in concert with the UPI;
•protect the privacy of personnel information even under pressure from outside associations not to do so;
•deeply value principles of shared governance; and
•have consistently worked cooperatively with the AAUP for years, including inviting an AAUP representative to campus in 2011 to review and make recommendations related to shared governance. Northeastern implemented adjustments suggested by the AAUP.
The University provided the AAUP with its written response to the proposed report. In the interests of providing the campus community with a full and fair opportunity to review both documents, Northeastern attaches the AAUP Report and the University’s Response.
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