In the Matter of Dr. Kenneth Howell

Jun 21st, 2015
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By letter of July 20, 2010, Interim Chancellor and Provost Robert A. Easter charged the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) as follows: “to determine whether the process leading to the decision followed Departmental and College policies and also if the decision to discontinue Dr. [Kenneth] Howell’s adjunct appointment did indeed constitute a violation of academic freedom.”

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In the Matter of Dr. Kenneth HowellReport of a Subcommittee of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignBy letter of July 20, 2010, Interim Chancellor and Provost Robert A. Easter charged the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT) as follows: to determine whether the process leading to the decision followed Departmental and College policies and also if the decision to discontinue Dr. [Kenneth] Howells adjunct appointment did indeed constitute a violation of academic freedom. Toward that end and pursuant to its rules CAFT appointed the undersigned subcommittee to inquire and report to the Committee. The subcommittee met with: Professor Robert McKim, at the time of the events under investigation the head of the Department of Religion in the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS); Ann Mester, Associate Dean of LAS; Ruth Watkins, Dean of LAS; Steven Veazie, Esq., Campus Legal Counsel; and Dr. Howell (who was accompanied by his legal counsel and a monsignor of the Roman Catholic Church). All those interviewed were most cooperative and we are indebted for their candor.What follows will summarize the events under investigation the basic facts of which are not in dispute. We will then state what we see as the issues these events present and will analyze them from the perspective of university policy and sound academic practice. At the clo

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