The Truth is Powerful

The Faculty Voice During COVID-19

New survey finds 24 percent of faculty senate chairs say faculty influence declined during COVID-19. Fifteen percent of chairs say it increased. Survey also delves into faculty say in budget decisions, voided handbooks, contracts and more. pressmaster/

Nearly a quarter of faculty senate chairs say faculty influence at their institutions declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey of these faculty leaders by the American Association of University Professors. The finding supports the conclusions of a recent investigation by the AAUP into alleged violations of shared governance and faculty rights at multiple institutions over the course of the pandemic.

At the same time, the new survey of faculty chairs found what the earlier investigation, given its parameters, couldn’t: that some faculty chairs — 15 percent, in this case — reported an increase in faculty influence over the last year. That is, while some institutions responded to the challenges of COVID-19 by cutting off the faculty voice, others leaned in to it.

The AAUP survey also provides a clearer picture of how common particular administrative actions were during COVID-19, beyond the isolated cases the association recently investigated. Ten percent of faculty leaders at institutions that have tenure said their administrations laid […]

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