Thursday, February 25, 2016

Melissa "Need Some Muscle" Click Fired by Mizzou; AAUP Objects

   On the one hand: substantive justice!  Yay!
   OTOH: no procedural justice.  Boo
   AAUP disapproves, on rational grounds: there's a procedure, and it wasn't adhered to.  That's bad. Of course there are undoubtedly plenty of lefty faculty who will circle the wagons and do everything in their power to protect Click...so depending on what the procedure actually is, sticking to it might not yield substantive justice. But that's the risk we take.
   My view: whether or not this firing sticks, Click will probably be in a better job within the year. Communications (note: not an actual discipline) has a fairly lefty rep. Some Comm department somewhere will welcome her as a hero of "social justice" soon enough.

2 Comments:

Blogger Aa said...

No, no, no, no, nooooo! Please don't confuse liberalism with what's happening here.

Substantive justice can only exist if a procedure is followed. That procedure must apply to all equally.

The professor in question acted in an unprofessional manner. She was then sanctioned both legally and professionally.

Then, since in Missouri the legislature is run by republicans and she acted unprofessionally in a liberal cause, the legislature screamed bloody murder. Threatened to withold tens of thousands if not millions in funding, and she was fired. This is partisan politics, plain and simple.

So please don't confuse this with justice.

Justice would have been following the procedure agreed upon by all parties at Mizzou. For example, at my institution, there is a hearing before a panel composed of faculty and faculty administrators. If they agree that sanctions are warranted they can try to mediate between the parties. If mediation proves impossible another body composed of senior faculty from all disciplines (usually quite distinguished faculty) hear the case. If they agree that sanctions are warranted, they detail what sanctions are appropriate. The faculty member (in this case Click)can then appeal to the administration and governing board.

By not following procedure the governing board has just handed Click a lawsuit she will probably win. If they had followed procedure she might or might not have been fired, but the lawsuit would stand little to no chance.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Aa said...

As a followup I have seen this happen before, at my own institution. The administration used some weasely legalese to bypass the faculty handbook. The agreed upon governing document for faculty/administration interactions. The board of governors agreed with the administration, of course since it was something the board wanted.

So we stepped in (we being senior faculty and the faculty senate) and issued votes of no confidence against the administration (provost, president, etc.) and the board. And we were present in large numbers when the documents were read word by word to the board.

Then we organized to unionize.

It scared them and they have yet to violate the spirit and intent of the handbook since.

I'm guessing right now at Mizzou many are worried what will happen with academic freedom and shared governance...the governing body has now shown it will bypass the agreed upon procedures when it wants to or when political pressure is applied.

9:29 AM  

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