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The American Association of University Professors said Monday that it is investigating Indiana University Northwest in Gary over the summary dismissal of Mark McPhail, a former tenured professor of communication who was the institution’s chief academic officer. According to the AAUP, the university “banished” McPhail from campus and “terminated his appointment based on allegations of misconduct that Prof. McPhail sharply denies, contending that the administration acted in retaliation for his outspoken criticism of the institution, including formal and informal complaints about discrimination and racial inequity on campus.”

Widely followed AAUP standards on tenure say that dismissal for cause must be preceded by an adjudicative hearing before an elected faculty body, in which the administration bears the burden of proof. McPhail was allegedly terminated without this due process. Such AAUP investigations often result in institutions being added to the group’s list of administrations censured for violations of academic freedom and tenure. Chuck Carney, Indiana University spokesperson, said via email, “Given that this is an ongoing personnel matter, we cannot offer comment.”