The private business model of academic employment, in which managers exercise complete control over the working conditions and appointment status of those they oversee, is already a reality for the majority of those who teach at U.S. colleges and universities.” If higher education wishes to maintain academic freedom for the ever-shrinking proportion of the faculty who enjoy tenure-track and tenured appointments, it said, “we must extend the guarantee of academic freedom -- through changes in institutional policies, professional norms and, ultimately, personal attitudes -- to those who do not.” In response to questions about the degree of faculty involvement in developing the Gateway to Success curriculum, Pace reportedly told the investigating committee that meetings were held in February and May 2016 to solicit faculty input. But the AAUP committee concluded that it doesn't appear faculty members could have refused to go forward "without jeopardizing their future employment at the institution.” That's based in part on faculty interviewees reportedly saying that the curriculum meetings were really “presentations,” at which Pace and Keith, the achievement coach, shared retention-related data and reportedly declared, “There aren’t enough people passing; we need to get more people passing.” Betsy Oudenhoven, college president, said in a statement that Aurora disagrees with the AAUP’s conclusions. The college launched the Gateway to Success initiative in collaboration with faculty disciplinary experts to determine how professors’ teaching strategies were either promoting or hindering success in gateway general-education courses, she said. Gatekeeper courses were updated to better help students learn and “still meet the target learning goals set by the State Faculty Curriculum Committee,” she added, noting that the Colorado Department of Higher Education confirmed that the redesign met state standards for guaranteed transfer to four-year institutions. In Bork’s case, Oudenhoven said, the department chair and achievement coach who observed him “discovered general instructional problems as well as difficulties in the implementation of the new curriculum they characterized as severe.” Moreover, she said, she didn’t receive any letter of complaint from Bork about the curriculum. Bork, who is still teaching at Arapahoe Community College, said he did indeed inform administrators of his concerns, including in an email dated July 17. He could not share the Sept. 7 email that allegedly prompted his termination, he said, because he's lost access to his faculty email account as a result of his termination. Beyond that, Bork said he was a member of several committees that met regularly with the president, making her claims of ignorance all the more implausible. As to the college’s assertion that he was terminated due to poor teaching, Bork pointed to the AAUP committee’s interview with the student in question.
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