Inside Higher Ed
July 22nd, 2014
Lisa Guinn was one of the lucky ones. The historian was offered a
tenure-track job at one institution in 2008 after a one-year stint there
as a temporary professor. Two years later, she got lucky again – or so
she thought – when she and her husband, also a historian, were both
offered tenure-track jobs at Upper Iowa University. Knowing how rare
dual assistant professorships are in history, they took the jobs. They
believed in the university’s liberal arts mission and were looking
forward to reviving its history major, which they did in 2012.
Now, despite strong faculty reviews, both Guinn and her husband,
Thomas Jorsch, are out at Upper Iowa, and they still haven’t been told
why. Jorsch was able to find a tenure-track position at Bethany College,
in Kansas, but Guinn will be working there as an adjunct. The irony is
So what happened?
Guinn and other faculty members say shared governance and academic
freedom at Upper Iowa have eroded over time, and their vocal opposition
to proposed curricular changes put targets on their backs, as well as
those of several other untenured professors.