public statements

AAUP-Purdue asks for investigation regarding Dept. of English budget cuts

AAUP-Purdue asks Purdue Administration and University Senate to investigate funding cuts to the Department of English, given failures of shared governance

Over the course of the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters, the administration of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) and the administration of the Department of English have engaged in extended public disputes about the English Department’s graduate student budget, with the English Department claiming dishonesty by the CLA and the CLA claiming financial mismanagement by the English Department. (For a summary of the events, please see here.)

AAUP registers its concern about these events and their broader implications for the abridgement of due process and procedural safeguards, and calls upon the University administration and the University Senate to facilitate a speedy and transparent resolution. The budget decisions affecting the Department of English—the central issue motivating these recent disagreements—were undertaken with no faculty input. Such faculty exclusion is in direct violation of the AAUP’s “Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities” and report on “The Role of Faculty in Budgetary and Salary Matters.”

Charges of financial mismanagement by departments and dishonesty by administrators are serious and deserve public scrutiny. Such charges need to be addressed thoroughly and transparently, for they threaten the morale of faculty across the University. Unfortunately, the University administration’s response did not address the charges that the CLA administration has acted dishonestly, and thus this charge is still without resolution. 

Thus, we ask:

  • the University administration facilitate the appointment of an independent mediator;
  • the University Senate investigate the claims of both the Department of English and the CLA administration in greater detail, submitting written questions to both and making the unedited answers to those questions public; and 
  • the University Senate convene a public meeting, where members of all parties (including CLA administration, University administration, ENGL administration) are able to ask and answer questions.

Chapter statement. 

Passed by 50% of the chapter on March 28, 2022