The board of directors of the American Association of University Teachers voted unanimously over the weekend to censure Georgia’s university system over controversial changes the system made to its post-examination process. -mandate last year. The AAUP criticized these changes as allowing tenured professors to be fired without granting them a termination hearing, in violation of long-established and widely followed principles of academic freedom and tenure.
“Through their unilateral actions, the USG Board of Regents proclaimed to the academic community that they do not view academic freedom as important to public higher education in the state,” said Irene Mulvey, president of AAUP, in a statement. “The removal of academic freedom protections will have a devastating effect on the quality of education in the USG system, as well as the recruitment and retention of faculty and students. We call on USG Regents to reverse changes to the post-term review policy so that academic freedom, so essential to higher education, is restored.
Teresa MacCartney, the system’s acting chancellor, told the AAUP last year in response to its inquiry into the new policy that “due process is and will remain a fundamental tenet of the process’ policy updates. University of Georgia Post-Term Examination”. The AAUP responded in turn that certain changes to the new postgraduate review policy — except for granting a decision-making hearing before a faculty — might improve it, but that they “n have nothing to do with due academic process”.