16.4.05

PUSHED OUT? Tenure means a professor gets a hearing to determine whether the university has cause for dismissal, unless you're at Virginia State. Heart of Canada has been following the case of veteran Virginia State sociologist Jean R. Cobbs, who passed a post-tenure review only to be dismissed for cause by careerist Virginia State president Eddie N. Moore, a decorated veteran. National Association of Scholars president Stephen Balch spells out the stakes.
This extraordinary instance of administrative fiat ought to arouse the deep concern of anyone who cares for the future of intellectual freedom and academic due process. As a perusal of the facts in this case will quickly confirm, Professor Jean Cobbs has been subjected to a decade-long pattern of arbitrary and irregular treatment by President Eddie Moore and his administration at VSU. Now, despite her 33 years of exemplary service to VSU, she has been terminated with complete loss of retirement benefits by simple decree of Mr. Moore, without so much as a single hearing or even being informed of his reasons for doing so. And, beyond the outrageous, egregious injustice to Jean Cobbs, VSU faculty have been put on notice that they have no security, either through academic tenure or due process, from the personal whims of senior administrators. We accordingly urge both the officials who oversee the Virginia higher education system, and the legislators who appropriate its support to investigate this case thoroughly, as a matter of simple justice to Professor Cobbs and for the injuries to the reputation of their state's public institutions.
Carey at Issues and Views sees developments at Virginia State in more apocalyptic terms.
Although the details are murky, it has become obvious that some sort of deal was cut between Mr. Moore and the militant/Marxist/separatist element of the faculty. The evidence is circumstantial but extensive. Almost immediately upon Mr. Moore's arrival, foreign-born faculty, conservative and Republican faculty and staff, and faculty who were heavily engaged in research began to have difficulties with the VSU administration.
It's bad enough when the administrators make it difficult for people to actually do the work by calling meetings and sending around additional forms for people to fill out. This looks like a clear case of punishing people for doing their jobs. Herrn. Schneider und Schwarz, am I being too provocative suggesting that VSU president Eddie Moore be one of the unassigned Kings?

(There is no truth to the rumor that Schneider and Schwarz got lost somewhere on the Semmering Pass last fall.)

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