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The American Association of University Professors is concerned about “apparent departures from generally accepted principles of academic governance” within the Maricopa Community College District, it said in a letter to the district’s governing board Thursday. The association said it had been alerted by district faculty members to a February board resolution to terminate a “meet and confer” provision in the faculty policy manual and create a new manual limiting the participation of the faculty in institutional governance. The “meet and confer” policy pertained to an “agreement regarding change with respect to responsibilities, wages, governance, benefits and all other terms and conditions of residential faculty employment.”

The AAUP also questioned an administrative directive saying that campus faculty senate presidents and representatives “must be dutiful in avoiding any [Faculty Executive Council] or Faculty Association-related work or conversations during business hours.” Such a directive violates faculty members’ academic freedom, including the freedom to express their views on institutional policies, the AAUP said. A district spokesperson referred questions to the governing board’s president, Laurin Hendrix, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.