Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Driven Out for Speaking Up?

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 biting.
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.

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