Idaho State University: Suspension of Faculty Senate

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Idaho State University

Following a series of disputes over academic freedom and shared governance between the ISU faculty and senior administration, ISU President Arthur C. Vailas and the Idaho State Board of Education ordered the suspension of ISU’s Faculty Senate. A provisional senate was elected by the faculty, which returned most of the former senators to the new body, but ISU has refused to recognize its activities. FIRE and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have raised serious concern over the implications of the unilateral dissolution of ISU’s representative faculty body, and the AAUP opened a formal investigation into ISU’s suspension of the Faculty Senate. The report from the AAUP investigation heavily criticizes the ISU administration for its actions against the faculty. On June 11, 2011, at the AAUP’s annual meeting, its members voted unanimously to sanction ISU.

  • Court affirms dismissal of Idaho professor’s case

    December 2, 2011

    by Associated Press Idaho Press-Tribune   POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) – The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a professor who claims he was wrongfully terminated. The justices issued a ruling Wednesday in the case of Habib Sadid, who claims he was fired from Idaho State University for publicly voicing his discontent with administration policies. Sadid sued the university in state court in 2008 while he was still employed at the school, but the case was dismissed. Officials at the Pocatello university lauded the decision of the high court to affirm the dismissal of the […]

    » Read More

  • Idaho State Faculty Sue University and President Alleging First Amendment Violations

    February 16, 2012

    On Tuesday, a group of faculty members at Idaho State University (ISU) filed a federal lawsuit against their institution and ISU President Arthur C. Vailas, alleging violations of their First Amendment rights.  The group, called the Idaho State University Faculty Association for the Preservation of the First Amendment, alleges that the university blocked ISU’s Provisional Faculty Senate from sending emails to the entire faculty at ISU, thereby preventing the Provisional Faculty Senate from effectively communicating with its constituents regarding the important matter of a new faculty constitution. The group’s federal complaint further alleges that as a result of this tactic, ISU was […]

    » Read More

  • AAUP Sanctions Idaho State University for Suspending Faculty Senate

    June 13, 2011

    In a letter in March, FIRE raised serious concern about the February decision by Idaho State University (ISU) President Arthur C. Vailas and the Idaho State Board of Education to suspend ISU’s Faculty Senate just one week after it recorded a vote of no confidence in Vailas. The administration had cited a “stalemate” with the faculty. Indeed, the suspension followed longstanding tension between the Faculty Senate and Vailas’ administration, evidenced in disputes over the termination of a faculty member who criticized the university, a vote of no confidence in ISU Provost Gary Olson, and the expression of many other serious concerns about Vailas’ leadership (PDF) and proposed reorganization of the […]

    » Read More

  • Following Suspension of Faculty Senate, FIRE Asks for Answers at Idaho State University

    March 3, 2011

    In a letter yesterday, FIRE called upon Idaho State University President Arthur C. Vailas to explain the Idaho State Board of Education’s recent decision to suspend Idaho State’s Faculty Senate. The suspension was levied on February 17, just one week after the Faculty Senate recorded a vote of no confidence in Vailas. As The Chronicle of Higher Education reported: In an apparently unprecedented step, the Idaho State Board of Education voted on Thursday to suspend the Faculty Senate of Idaho State University and instructed the university’s president to put in place an interim faculty advisory structure. In a statement released after […]

    » Read More

  • State Board of Education Suspends Idaho State’s Faculty Senate

    February 18, 2011

    Within days of a faculty vote of “no confidence” in Idaho State University President Arthur Vailas, the Idaho Board of Education has voted to dissolve the university’s faculty senate, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) and others are reporting. This drastic action follows several months of increasingly sour relations between Vailas and the ISU faculty; as the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote recently, this was due at least in part to Valias’ perceived treatment of dissidents in ISU’s academic ranks, including the firing of tenured Professor Habib Sadid, who had frequently made remarks critical of the university.  The Spokesman-Review writes: Board President Richard Westerberg said, “The impasse between […]

    » Read More