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AAUP Investigates Alleged Racism at Indiana University NW

August 30, 2022

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.”

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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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