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Faculty Senate motion cites admin. procedure violation in Hindley case

Published: November 16, 2007
Section: News

At its Nov. 8 meeting, the Faculty Senate unanimously adopted a motion expressing concern with the way the administration has responded to complaints about Prof. Donald Hindley (POL).

Earlier this month, Hindley was charged with violating the Universitys Non-Discrimination and Harrassment Policy for alleged inappropriate, racial and discriminatory conduct.

The Faculty Senates motion states that the administration violated a section of the Faculty Handbook when it threatened to suspend or dismiss Hindley without first bringing the issue before the Faculty Senate council.

The motion was sent to The Hoot by Prof. Marc Brettler (NEJS), Chair of the Faculty Senate.

Brettler did not elaborate about the Faculty Senates choice to adopt a motion. A copy of the Faculty Senate minutes could not be acquired because they had yet to be released to the faculty.

The motion states, the Provosts letter to the professor includes reference to termination as a possibility if the professor does not accept the suggested remedies, and goes on to cite this as a violation of Section VIIC2a of the Faculty Handbook. Section VIIC2a reads, when considering suspension or dismissal, the Provost will first consult with the Faculty Senate Council. According to the Faculty Senate no such consultation occurred before the Provosts letter was delivered to Hindley.

The motion makes no mention of the time between when the complaint was filed and when Hindley was notified by the administration, or of the apparent secrecy of the investigation into his allegedly racist remarks – two issues of concern for Hindley as reported in the Nov. 2 issue of The Hoot.

Additionally, the motion does not mention the monitor placed in Hindleys classroom by the Provost.

Hindley did not respond to requests for comment regarding the motion.

Prof. Gordon Fellman (SOC) remarked, I support the Faculty Senate resolution and believe it is within its responsibilities and obligations to make it.

He added, I believe the administration of our university is not handling itself well or wisely in its part in the Hindley case.

Student response to the Faculty Senate resolution varied. Eben Cotrelle 10 felt the resolution was too weak. If this is [the Faculty Senates] response, then thats not enough. It doesnt even mention his name, he said.

Ryan McElhaney 10 said, the Faculty Senate is trying to posture itselfto establish its role in this processinstead of protect a member of the faculty.

He added, [the motion] doesnt comment on Hindley being investigated without knowing it.

Ilana Silverstein 11, however, agreed with the facultys statement. I think thats a legitimate argument for the faculty to make, she said. It doesnt say the faculty agrees with what [Hindley] did, but that the administration has to abide by procedure. If the administration didnt, its fair for there to be an outcry.

Loren Chen 10 also felt the facultys action was warranted. I guess if its in the Faculty Handbook, if its clearly stated like that, I would agree with [the faculty] releasing a statement.