Thursday, October 30, 2014

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SLU President Accused of Targeting Enemies

A number of faculty at Saint Louis University are accusing the president of the Jesuit university of targeting them for speaking out against him last year and saying that his actions are not consistent with the university’s Catholic identity.

Last year, The Cardinal Newman Society reported on the controversy that occurred after Fr. Lawrence Biondi, S.J., proposed changes to the university’s policy on tenure so it ceased being a lifetime appointment and would have to be re-applied for every few years. The outrage from faculty was so strong at the time that the proposal was pulled within a month. In retaliation for Fr. Biondi’s short-lived proposal to reform tenure, professors at Saint Louis University delivered a vote of “no confidence” in the university’s president.

Now, Inside Higher Ed is reporting that some faculty are accusing Fr. Biondi of seeking retribution by offering only small raises to his most outspoken critics.

The Faculty Senate sent an open letter to all faculty saying, “such acts of apparent retaliation raise new questions about the president’s suitability to lead our university consistently with our Catholic, Jesuit traditions.”

The American Association of University Professors wrote a letter urging Fr. Biondi to address the Faculty Senate’s concerns.

A University spokesperson delivered a statement to Inside Higher Ed saying that 98% of professors who were eligible did indeed receive salary increases albeit less in many cases than was recommended.

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