University of Central Arkansas Celebrates End to Censure
President Lu Hardin, provost Gabriel Esteban, AAUP chapter representative Rebecca Williams, and outgoing faculty senate president Michael Shaefer of the University of Central Arkansas attended the AAUP's annual meeting in June in anticipation of the removal of that institution's administration from the AAUP's censure list.
The university's administration was placed on censure by the 2000 annual meeting after an investigating committee found that a tenured professor had been abruptly dismissed without academic due process as called for in the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and the university's own policies; that another had been denied tenure in her thirteenth year of service and deprived of faculty status; that two lecturers had been dismissed after eight years without stated reasons and opportunity for appeal; and that a new policy allowing faculty members to forgo the possibility of tenure in exchange for a higher salary was at odds with basic principles of academic freedom and tenure. The investigating committee's report appeared in the March-April 2000 issue of Academe.
A new and very different administration for the University of Central Arkansas began when Hardin became president in October 2002 and immediately announced that two of his top priorities were winning the trust of the faculty and achieving censure removal. A university committee, with Williams as its chief faculty leader, worked closely with Association staff to bring the institution's official policies into conformity with AAUP-supported standards. …