Hot News From Louisiana: Fired Faculty Sue the U.

April 2, 2013, 1:46 pm

boyoboyRemember this 2011 story in which we reported budget cutting in the University of Louisiana system? At the time, the doctoral program in Cognitive Science was being shut down. Close behind was the French department, a bachelor’s program: 14 full-time instructors were let go, while tenured faculty were protected (despite newly enacted policies which justified the firing of tenure-line faculty.)

Our correspondent in Cajun Country, Istvan Berkeley (University of Louisiana-Lafayette) reports on what has happened since at Southeastern Louisiana University: ”The two terminated faculty members from Cognitive Science had their positions saved, due to some heavy leaning from the AAUP National Office, although the program is still gone.”

The Faculty Formerly Known As French Professors have not been so fortunate. “Southeastern University terminated three French professors,” Berkeley writes, “without the usual due process. The institution got censured by the AAUP, but they do not seem to be too bothered about it. However, the professors have filed suit against the university. This is an important fight, as if the three French professors lose, it will set a precedent which can be rolled out across the country (with Texas probably going first). If that happens, then tenure, at least in State based systems, will become a mere honorific. Naturally, this is something which should be avoided.”

An official account of these doings can be found at the Louisiana AAUP State Conference web site. As you know, even progressive lawyers cost money: step up and donate. They are only taking money by check, which will require finding your checkbook (Kickstarter, anyone?). Send your contribution, made out to LSC/AAUP to:

Professor Alvin Burstein
7008 Longvue Drive
Mandeville, LA 70448

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