Meet the College Consultant the AAUP Seeks to Shame

June 02, 2015 / Phil Lesch

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 2nd, 2015

When the American Association of University Professors holds its annual conference this month, its members will consider rebuking several colleges and, by extension, one very prominent higher-education consultant.

Robert C. Dickeson, who has guided colleges throughout the nation in choosing to either buttress or scrap academic programs, stands accused in two new AAUP investigative reports of inspiring institutions to trample professors’ rights.

Those accusations are hardly the first criticisms that the AAUP has lodged against Mr. Dickeson in his long career in higher education. He first came under fire from the association in the early 1980s, when it censured the University of Northern Colorado for faculty layoffs he carried out as that institution’s president. Nine years ago, the AAUP denounced his guidance to a federal panel on the future of higher education, known as the Spellings Commission, as "seriously flawed" and full of unfounded attacks on the nation’s college faculties. His guidance blamed faculty salaries for rising college costs and argued that tenure had evolved from a safeguard of academic freedom into "a system to protect job security."

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