Indiana University Northwest Censure

By Mark Criley

At its March 4 meeting, the AAUP’s governing Council unanimously voted to add Indiana University Northwest to the Association’s list of censured administrations. The censure follows an investigative report into the administration’s summary dismissal of Mark McPhail, a tenured professor of communication, allegedly for having made racially charged threats of physical violence.

The investigating committee found that the administration had violated AAUP-supported standards of academic due process by denying McPhail a hearing at which it would have borne the burden of demonstrating adequate cause for his dismissal. It further found the allegations against McPhail “implausible” and found “highly credible” his claim that the administration’s action was in response to his criticism of its handling of racial equity issues and therefore violated his academic freedom. The committee also concluded that IUN’s racial climate is unwelcoming to faculty members of color and that the allegations against McPhail invoked racial stereotypes of Black men as incompetent, angry, and violent.