Faculty Senate discussed a revision to the Piper Professor Award Oct. 31 and addressed concerns over the firing of three professors at St. Edwards University.
The Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award Foundation honors ten professors at colleges and universities throughout Texas each year for their great achievements in the teaching profession. Faculty Senate organizes the nomination process, and Faculty Senate Chair Alex White proposed changing the Piper Professor Award process.
According to White, starting next year, “any application for the Piper Nomination from a current faculty member made in the past two years will be considered for the current year, provided that candidate did not get the nomination.” White also said faculty members who received a Swinney Award one year and a Piper Nomination the next year may not be considered for the nomination.
Faculty Senate addressed the American Association of University Professors’ concern over the firing of three faculty members at St. Edward’s University in Austin. White said the AAUP released a report over the firing of three faculty members at St. Edward’s University. Two of the faculty members were fired over an issue of academic freedom and the third was fired after complaining about sexual harassment.
Faculty Senate deferred from voting but chose to draft a generalized letter not specific to the St. Edward’s situation. Faculty Senate said they will ask the Academic Freedom Committee to review the letter and then vote on it to later be sent to the AAUP.
Faculty Senate reviewed the branding study and survey sent out by the university. The survey was intended to “figure out what faculty, administration and students think the brand of Texas State is and how that is different from people who are outside the university think of the university.” According to White, Faculty Senate members and other faculties of Texas State, the survey was “ineffective” due to the structure.