Friday, April 21, 2006

Update Regarding UD's Answer

We previously posted what we said was an incomplete copy of UD's answer to Jeffries' petition. We have finally received the two extra pages. However, it turns out that these only contain signatures. While they are not essential to making sense of the document, we will eventually post a revised file for those who are interested. PLEASE NOTE: Since finals are rapidly approaching, it may be awhile until we can scan and upload the documents.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

IMPORTANT: Chronicle of High Education Article Available for Viewing for Limited Time

The nationally circulated Chronicle of Higher Education posted an article today regarding Professor Jeffries' lawsuit. It appears that non-subscribers to the Chronicle may view the article for only four more days.

Some points of interest:

Dr. John Stewart is reported to have said that, aside from Dr. Jeffries, no other professors have complained about the gag clause, which is said to appear in all faculty contracts. Furthermore, he denies that such a clause hinders academic freedom. This may be contrasted with Stewart's sworn testimony, which was offered at Jeffries' unemployment hearings and was reported by the Des Moines Regsiter on Sunday, April 2. That article reported:

    At the recent state hearing on his request for unemployment benefits, Jeffries' attorney asked Stewart whether he felt that the threat of having to repay one's salary for criticizing the school created an "intimidating and fearsome situation" for the faculty.

    "It would certainly be difficult, yes," Stewart said.

Perhaps in Dr. Stewart's mind intimidation and fear are not sufficient conditions for hampering academic freedom, but we are not convinced.

As a further note, the Chronicle's article also reports that Professor Jeffries has accepted a position as assistant professor of philosophy at Ripon College. We wish Paul and Ruth all the best, though we cannot help feeling saddened by the fact that they have been forced to start afresh.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Register Article Regarding Jeffries' Unemployment Hearings

Today, the Des Moines Register ran an article regarding Professor Jeffries' unemployment hearings.

According to the article, "Jeffries' attorney asked Stewart whether he felt that the threat of having to repay one's salary for criticizing the school created an 'intimidating and fearsome situation' for the faculty," to which Dr. Stewart responded, "'It would certainly be difficult, yes'."

The Register interviewed a number of officials at other Iowa colleges regarding the issue of whether faculty ought to be free to criticize administrators. Bruce Haddox, vice president of academic affairs at Simpson College (whose position is comparable to Dr. Stewart's at UD) is reported to have said, "Generally speaking, faculty are trained and bred to criticize [...]. What would life be without faculty criticizing the administration?"


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