The College Heights Herald has drawn praise from the Chronicle of Higher Education following a nine hour termination hearing involving a tenured professor that ended in the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents’ unanimous vote in favor of the professor and its rejection of the administration’s termination recommendation.
“The board’s decisions, to hold the special meeting and to not dismiss Huss, were first reported by the student newspaper, the College Heights Herald. The university did not livestream the proceedings or the vote, but a co-editor in chief of the Herald, Jake Moore, provided a running series of dozens of tweets over the course of the nine-hour meeting.”
The Kentucky Open Government Coalition followed Moore’s Twitter thread as the special meeting proceeded, marveling at his level of detail in recounting the testimony, asking whether he would remain to the conclusion of a closed session that ended after two hours (to which Moore gamely responded, “Yes! Hanging out here for a decision,”), and commending him for shining the light on a process to which the public is rarely privy.
The Chronicle reports that “WKU’s American Association of University Professors chapter expressed concern about ‘the lack of transparency in how policy and procedure are interpreted and applied.’
“‘During the hearing, parties for WKU referred repeatedly to specific sections of the Faculty Handbook and to state law. However, administrative interpretation of policy doesn’t clarify what options faculty have when they find themselves in untenable situations involving those in their chain of command.’”
The Chronicle described the case as “the latest in which scholars have drawn fire for how they talk about race in the classroom. Earlier this month, a computer-science professor sued the University of Washington for allegedly violating his First Amendment rights and retaliating against him after he included a statement mocking a Native American land acknowledgment in a course syllabus that one administrator deemed ‘offensive.’”