Monday, November 2, 2009

Update: Southwestern College Faculty Suspensions

Update: Southwestern College Faculty Suspensions blogged via Google Alerts from Student Activism by Angus Johnston, 11/2/09

Inside Higher Ed has a new piece up this morning on the Southwestern College fiasco, bringing the story pretty much up to date. Go check it out. 

Also this morning, a source on campus sent me a copy of the latest memo from the administration.
It says that hearings for the four suspended (or, to use SWC's preferred phrasing, withdrawal-of-consent-to-be-on-campused) faculty members have been cancelled at the request of the faculty members involved.

"The Human Resources Deparment," the memo continues, "is diligently moving to conclude the investigation on this matter in the hopes that it can be resolved and that the three individuals may be returned to campus this week."

Yet another weird twist in a story composed exclusively of weird twists, in other words. But it gets a little less weird if you look at the text of the law under which the suspensions were authorized.

According to that law, a withdrawal of consent for an individual to be on campus automatically expires after fourteen days, and it cannot be renewed. An individual whose consent has been withdrawn may request a hearing, but the law says nothing about the format of such hearings, who conducts them, or what they are required or empowered to do.

Whether or not "the investigation on this matter … can be resolved" in the next few days, the three suspended professors will be back on campus by the end of the week. The SWC administration's memo notwithstanding, there's no "may" about it. On Friday they go back to work.

Assuming that there are no more weird twists, of course.

Ed Note: Alternate titles: "It's not just a river in Egypt" or "That old Orwellian rag" (in which "suspended" = "withdrawal-of-consent-to-be-on-campused")

Previously blogged here, covered in local mainstream media, Workplace Blog, Inside Higher Education, Student Activism, and  Writers Washroom ~ plus tweeted widely.... In case anyone is wondering what this story has to do with adjunct equity, allow me to remind you that a) all suspended (or consent to be on campus withdrawn) are adjunct faculty, b) one of them is the president of the Adjunct Faculty Union that c) is under attack by a decertification campaign

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