Investigation at Indiana University Northwest

The AAUP has opened an investigation at Indiana University Northwest, focused on the IUN administration’s summary dismissal last fall of Professor Mark McPhail, a tenured professor of communication who had been initially appointed as the institution’s chief academic officer. The IUN administration banished McPhail from campus and terminated his appointment without affording him a dismissal hearing. McPhail contends that the administration acted in retaliation for his outspoken criticism of the institution, including formal and informal complaints about discrimination and racial inequity on campus.

AAUP-supported standards, widely accepted in higher education, stipulate that dismissal for cause must be preceded by an adjudicative hearing before an elected faculty body in which the administration bears the burden of proof. Under the auspices of the Association’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, an ad hoc investigating committee consisting of three previously uninvolved AAUP members from other institutions will review the available evidence, conduct interviews with McPhail and others knowledgeable about the case, and produce a report.

Publication Date: 
Monday, August 29, 2022