All seven members of the Faculty Senate at Gordon College resigned from the body last week. The Faculty Senate at Gordon not only provides advice but also acts as the panel that reviews tenure bids before making recommendations to the provost and president. In the last year, the pattern of the Faculty Senate recommendations being followed ended, according to the professors who resigned. Many also interpreted comments by Michael Lindsey, president at Gordon, as indicating that the administration did not need to abide by a faculty/administration handbook -- a view with which professors disagree.
The college released this statement about the resignations: "Gordon’s president and provost were quite surprised to learn just a few hours before a regular monthly faculty meeting on Wednesday that the seven members of the senate had decided to resign from their elected roles as faculty representatives in the promotion and tenure review process. We were disappointed the senate rejected a request for further conversation before their decision became final …. We continue to believe that a highly effective senate facilitates the flourishing of Gordon’s faculty and very much want to work together in collaborative and valuable forms of shared governance, especially when perspectives differ on the process and outcomes."
Submitted by Emily Tate on April 10, 2017 - 3:00am
Before a 2014 University of California, Berkeley, alumna filed a lawsuit against a distinguished philosophy professor there last month, the institution had fielded sexual misconduct complaints about the 84-year-old professor from at least three other women, BuzzFeed News found.
Berkeley officials in the philosophy department were also aware that John R. Searle, the professor, had made inappropriate comments in some of his classes.
Joanna Ong, who served as Searle’s research assistant, is accusing the professor of firing her from that position after she rejected his sexual advances. BuzzFeed obtained documents from the university that show Searle was accused of sexual harassment on multiple previous occasions.
In 2014, a student said the professor declined to offer her a position as his research assistant because she was married. The year before that, an international exchange student said he tried to kiss her. And in 2004, a student said Searle tried to play with her feet under the table at a dinner for prospective students.
Berkeley’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination is reviewing Ong’s complaint, as it said it did with the three previous complaints. Searle has denied all such claims.
The University of Oregon announced Thursday that it is eliminating the positions of 21 non-tenure-track instructors, and 10 staff members, The Register-Guard reported. Most of the cuts are in foreign languages and other humanities programs. Officials said that the cuts would stabilize the budget of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Tallahassee Community College's president, Jim Murdaugh, has agreed to reverse a decision he made to disband the Faculty Senate, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. Murdaugh had earlier said that the recent decision of faculty members to unionize made the Faculty Senate irrelevant. But he has agreed to keep the body going, although with some clarity about issues to be handled through collective bargaining and those to be reviewed by the Faculty Senate.