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Good Resolution to a Professional Code of Conduct Grievance

June 10, 2021 / PSU-AAUP

Despite our fundamental disagreement with the program reduction process being put forward by the Provost’s office, not all is bad in terms of relations between PSU-AAUP and the administration. In February of 2021 we alerted Administration that we had identified incidents of harassment of our faculty and we filed an association grievance asking that they do something to prevent what we saw as a violation of the Professional Code of Conduct. After some very good conversations with Administration, we were thankful to see last week that President Percy sent out a very strong message to the campus community. In his letter he details that we will not tolerate “behavior that co-opts academic freedom as a cover for intimidation and for the incitement of bullying.” We appreciate the successful resolution of this grievance and we are pleased that the administration was responsive to our well-founded concerns. We also understand that they are working to strengthen the language around the Professional Code of Conduct. Academic Freedom cuts both ways--we as a community need to be free to explore in our research and in the classroom topics about, for example, critical race theory, without concern that our PSU colleagues will bully us on Twitter or in other ways. This behavior dampens academic freedom. (See the chilling tenure case of Nikole Hannah-Jones)

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