Following months of bad blood between the Brandeis faculty and its administration over the administration’s violation of Professor Donald Hindley’s academic freedom and due process protections, today the Brandeis Justice reports on the latest faculty revolt. According to the Justice, Brandeis’s Committee on Faculty Rights and Responsibilities has suspended its review of faculty grievances because it no longer agrees with the administration on shared principles. The bad blood began after the committee roundly condemned Provost Marty Krauss for her handling of Hindley’s case, but Krauss rejected the committee’s authority and its report, essentially assuming the position of judge of her own actions. As the Justice reports:
In response to what it called this "imminent breakdown in the system of faculty dispute resolution," the committee issued a statement last week that it would "defer the review of faculty grievances" until they reach a set of "shared principles" with the [Faculty] Senate and administration. By not taking on any more cases, the committee is saying it cannot fulfill its role, interpreting the faculty handbook, in this environment.
The Justice also editorializes wisely:
Given the current political climate, non-tenured and even some tenured professors feel uneasy expressing their views. Provost Marty Krauss’ rejection of the Faculty Committee on Rights and Responsibilities’ report—which criticized the administration’s irrational treatment of Prof. Donald Hindley (POL)—undermines the Senate’s and Committee’s authority and legitimacy. The provost’s threat to fire Mr. Hindley unless he cooperated with her terms heightens the faculty’s lack of confidence in the administration.
Those interested in examining the situation at Brandeis further should see recent reporting in an excellent series by Pat Garofalo, hear this podcast in The Brandeis Hoot, and hear this podcast about Hindley in FIRE’s FIREside Chats series.