Academic Freedom and Tenure: University of South Florida

Academe, May/June 2003 | Go to article overview

Academic Freedom and Tenure: University of South Florida


This report deals with actions taken by the administration and the governing board of the University of South Florida against Dr. Sami Al-Arian, associate professor of computer science and engineering, beginning in the fall of 2001 and culminating with his dismissal on February 26, 2003. The administration placed Professor Al-Arian on paid leave of absence in September 2001. In December 2001, it notified him of its intent to dismiss him. No further action was taken affecting his status until August 2002, however, when the board of trustees, while keeping him on paid leave of absence, initiated civil litigation against him in an attempt to obtain a declaratory judgment on whether discharging him would violate his First Amendment rights. In December 2002, a federal district judge declined to issue the judgment being sought by the administration and dismissed the litigation.

With the University of South Florida administration continuing to keep Professor Al-Arian on paid leave, a draft report prepared by the undersigned Association investigating committee was approved by Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure for release to the principal parties in the case and sent to them on February 12, 2003, with an invitation for their corrections and comments. On February 20, Professor Arian was arrested following his indictment by a federal grand jury, charging him and others with criminal activities relating to international terrorism. Six days later, the administration dismissed him, alleging that he had used his academic position to support terrorism.

The ultimate disposition of Professor Al-Arian's case remains to be determined. He has as yet not had an opportunity to defend himself against the criminal charges nor to contest the dismissal in an academic proceeding. Nevertheless, based on the evidence currently available to the Association, Committee A believes that the investigating committee's findings and conclusions as of mid-February 2003 warrant publication of this report. Events following the mid-February release of the investigating committee's text are summarized at the end of the report in a brief update by the chair ot Committee A.

I. Introduction

The University of South Florida (USF) is the third oldest of the member institutions of the State University System of Florida. It opened its doors in September 1960, on a campus northeast of Tampa, with a faculty of 130 and more than 1,000 students.

Before the new institution could graduate its first class, it became the subject of an AAUP investigation. The investigating committee found that action by the university's founding president, John S. Allen, in failing to honor a professor's appointment, revealed unsatisfactory conditions of academic freedom. The AAUP's 1964 annual meeting imposed censure, which was removed by the 1968 annual meeting after redress had been provided in the professor's case and the university had adopted dismissal procedures consistent with Association-supported standards.

Over the ensuing years, USF has become a comprehensive research university with more than 36,000 students and nearly 1,900 full-time faculty members, offering through ten schools and colleges degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral levels, the latter including the M.D. It has hospitals, medical clinics, a mental health research institute, and two public broadcasting stations. Supplementing its main location are additional campuses in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Lakeland, and downtown Tampa.

Dr. Judy Lynn Genshaft, the current president of the university, received her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Kent State University. She served for sixteen years at Ohio State University, where at different times she held positions as chair of the Faculty Senate, chair of her academic department, and associate provost for regional campuses. Dr. Genshaft in 1992 accepted appointment as dean of the School of Education of the State University of New York in Albany, where in 1995 she became provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Academic Freedom and Tenure: University of South Florida
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.