In a June 18, 2016 press release it was reported that delegates to the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Associations of University Professors (AAUP) voted to “add Union County College (UCC) to its list of institutions sanctioned for violating AAUP-supported standards of academic government.” The censure was based on a November, 2015 investigative report that concluded:
For several decades, the college faculty selected a Faculty Executive Committee to explore matters of academic policy with the administration, appoint members to faculty committees, and carry out other governance functions. The FEC had developed faculty bylaws and a faculty handbook that included matters of college governance; for many years, these documents were recognized and implemented with the consent of the administration. In a striking repudiation of this respectful relationship with the faculty, the UCC administration under President McMenamin declared that it would no longer recognize or do business with the FEC or its committees. Perhaps the most startlingly disdainful treatment of the faculty was the denial by a college administrator, near the end of the 2014–15 academic year, of a room on campus in which the FEC wished to hold its final meeting, including the discussion of its own dissolution. In a peremptory letter to the leaders of the FEC dated June 10, 2015 (three weeks before the end of FEC terms of office), the administration representative—almost certainly with the knowledge of the president or the vice president for academic affairs—wrote, “As for the FEC, let’s stop imagining that June 30 is a termination date for the FEC. The FEC became defunct with the introduction of the college’s new Governance system in May.As the person who oversees room reservations, I will never authorize the use of any college room or facility for a committee that no longer has legitimate standing at Union County College.” (Quite apart from being a collegial affront, this unilateral and premature dissolution of the faculty’s representative executive committee by a functionary of the administration shows utter contempt for the authority of the faculty.) Finally, the administration has sought to impose, as a replacement for the FEC, a new “College Assembly” of faculty, staff, and students—without any advance discussion with any of these constituencies—and operational rules for this body have apparently been set exclusively by the administration. At a recent all-campus meeting for faculty and others, a mere ten minutes were set aside for “discussion” of recent changes in organization and governance.
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