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American Association of University Professors

From The Akron-AAUP Newsletter, November 18, 2015

On November 5, 2015, the administration emailed the campus community an update on the report from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC, the accreditors) on shared governance at UA.

The administration’s email began on an upbeat note: “I am pleased to report that on October 29th, the Higher Learning Commission notified the University that it ‘…concurred with the evaluation findings and affirmed that the institution is addressing the concerns related to (a) relationship and roles of faculty in shared institutional governance and (b) assessment of student learning in general education and in undergraduate and graduate majors.’”

Although the university’s email did quote this section of the letter from the HLC accurately, the HLC letter also went on to say that, “although the institution has made progress on shared governance and assessment of student learning, concerns remain about the sustainability of this progress” (https://www.uakron.edu/dotAsset/acb8b77e-0cf3-4ada-b7cf-c1b87909a725.pdf).

When the Akron-AAUP Executive Committee met with the HLC early in the 2015 spring semester, we expressed cautious optimism regarding the state of shared governance on campus. We were encouraged that the administration was engaging in conversations with the various campus constituencies, formally and informally. We also saw it as a positive sign that Akron-AAUP leadership was being included in discussions surrounding the formulation of the new budget.

However, shortly after the HLC left the campus, we were dismayed by a number of decisions made without meaningful faculty input – notably, the rebranding of the university as a polytechnic and the rushed introduction of the Gen Ed “Core 13” classes. We believed that it was incumbent upon us to write the HLC (http://www.uakron.edu/dotAsset/6080b27e-9acb-47a7-9134-6b76e) to update them about these concerns.

Read the entire piece HERE.

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