On June 10, 2020, to promote communication between the faculty and the administration about the college’s response to Covid-19, the AAUP chapter hosted an online presentation and question-and-answer session about budget matters with the college’s chief financial officer.
To promote communication between the faculty and the administration about the college’s response to Covid-19 next academic year, on March 31, the college’s AAUP chapter made available to the faculty a report on the Spring 2020 survey of faculty opinions about the college’s Covid-19 response.
Together with the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee (AFDPC), we co-sponsored a motion to the floor of the faculty to prohibit unauthorized recordings during classes without express permission from the instructor. The motion passed with 90% approval. (This does not infringe upon the rights of students who have authorization to carry out certain forms of recording for disability accommodation purposes.)
The AAUP chapter expresses its gratitute to the Committee on Student Affairs, Office of the Dean of Students, and the Academic Resource Center for their diligent work to revise the student rights and responsibilities text in the Student Handbook. At the request of the WCAAUP, these groups agreed to table suggested changes about “emotional harm” until the faculty as a whole could revisit the issue at a later date.
To disseminate information about the AAUP, and to encourage participation and membership in the Whitman College AAUP, chapter representatives met with the incoming new faculty cohort before the start of the Fall 2019 semester.
Many AAUP members were in support of a motion to the floor of the faculty by colleagues who proposed the formation of the ad hoc Faculty Governance Committee. After the motion’s approval in February, 2019, the AAUP chapter supported the committee’s effort to conduct a review of faculty governance at the college (and to consider alternative models).
On March 25, 2019, the Whitman College faculty approved unanimously a motion to urge the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU) to preserve and retain language regarding academic freedom in its revised standards for the accreditation of institutions of higher education. The Colleges AAUP chapter and the Academic Freedom and Due Process Committee cosponsored the motion.
On April 1, in the Olin Hall Auditorium, Prof. Risa Lieberwitz, AAUP General Counsel, gave the William O. Douglas lecture “Academic Freedom & Collective Action,” an event sponsored by The Robert and Mabel Groseclose Endowed Lecture Fund and the Department of Politics. Earlier that day, Whitman College’s AAUP chapter cosponsored a discussion with Prof. Risa Lieberwitz, AAUP General Counsel, about issues of academic freedom and shared governance.