On September 14, National AAUP Associate Secretary Anita Levy informed Wittenberg University’s president and board of directors that the association would be launching a formal investigation by the Committee on College and University Governance.
The AAUP, which initiates a limited number of investigations each year into serious violations of AAUP principles, will be reviewing the circumstances under which important provisions of the Wittenberg faculty handbook were suspended and two tenured faculty were terminated.
Preliminary review of the situation suggests that the aforementioned actions were taken without any meaningful faculty input, which is out of step with standards of shared governance, academic freedom, and tenure.
An ad hoc committee of individuals with no previous involvement with this situation will be appointed to conduct an independent inquiry. They may “interview” and request information from administrators and faculty in order to gather all facts before reporting findings to the Committee on College and University Governance.
The committee may recommend to the AAUP Council to place Wittenberg University on the Censure and/or Sanction Lists. The Censure List involves violations of academic freedom and tenure, while the Sanction List involves violations of shared governance.