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Collin College Pushes Out Another Professor

February 1, 2021

A second professor from Collin College in Texas said she was told her contract would not be renewed, with college administrators citing her criticism of the college’s COVID-19 reopening plan. A number of professors at the college have spoken out about its push for in-person instruction this academic year and its general handling of pandemic-related issues -- including the death of faculty member Iris Meda. But Audra Heaslip, professor of humanities, who helped draft a June Faculty Council resolution urging more online courses as coronavirus case counts rose in Texas, was accused of “bringing outside pressure” on the college to go 100 percent online, she said. Heaslip did speak to media outlets about the college’s reopening, but she never pushed for 100 percent online instruction during the pandemic.

Instead of her comments about COVID-19, Heaslip suspects that it was her involvement as an officer of her campus’s fledgling chapter of the Texas Faculty Association that put her in the college’s crosshairs. Heaslip said she was effectively fired late Thursday afternoon. Earlier that day, the college’s provost called a meeting with Suzanne Jones, a longtime professor of education, to tell her that she was being nonrenewed for similar reasons. Jones was offered a three-year contract in August, only to see it revoked months later. Jones is also an officer with the college’s TFA chapter, which acts like a union but is not recognized, as Texas prohibits collective bargaining among public employees. The college has declined comment on personnel issues.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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