However, the Provost admitted that, if a student was made to leave a class, it would only be for one day.  She is not willing to allow faculty to indefinitely or permanently remove students from their classes.

We plan on negotiating that right for faculty at the table.

Another concern with the message was the statement that minimized the impact of disruptive students in the classroom.  So unless the situation reaches the point where a faculty member feels compelled to call DPS the EMU administration does not believe you have the right to ask for a student to be removed.  The Provost’s comment in her email was:

“For all of 2014, our DPS records indicate there were 13 incidents in which a faculty member or lecturer filed a report with the Department of Public Safety regarding a classroom conduct concern. This is out of 257,938 classroom hours delivered on our campus. Of the 13 incidents that were reported, none resulted in criminal charges.”

So I guess it is OK with the Provost that students are disrupting classes, as long as DPS is not involved or criminal charges are not filed.  For example, recently a faculty member had a disruptive student in class for six weeks before the Provost would allow him to be removed from her class.  This student was yelling in class, ripping up his exam, and throwing it on the floor and stomping on it. The faculty member had gone to her department head many times with no results.  Finally the students in the class called DPS as the student was acting out so badly right as a class was ending.  The faculty member then refused to teach the class until the student was permanently removed.  Eventually the EMU administration did remove the student but not before the faculty member and students in the class had six weeks of dealing with a disruptive student.

Information from a recent EMU-AAUP faculty survey shows that the Provost has drastically underestimated the problem.  In the survey 38% (n=360 respondents) of faculty indicated that they have felt intimidated or threatened by a student at least once during their time at EMU.  The vast majority of the problems have occurred in classrooms and less frequently in faculty offices.  Although almost all of these faculty members reported the incidents to the administration only about a third felt satisfied with the effectiveness of the response.

The Provost also indicated in her email that disruptive student complaints are handled within days which we all know is not true as we have evidence of faculty going to department heads, deans and the director of student conduct numerous times before DPS is called.  We have filed grievances and even gone to arbitration to try to force the Provost to move more quickly in removing a disruptive student from a class.  Here is her claim in her email:

“As provided in the University Guide to Classroom Management (UGCM), initial steps to address any reported situation are taken not in weeks, but most often on the same day the conduct concern is reported. Depending on the complexity of the circumstances (e.g. the number of witnesses to be interviewed), the investigation may last anywhere from a day or two to several weeks until a final determination is reach.”

Unfortunately this is just not true.

I hope that if you have a disruptive student in your class that you will not wait but immediately contact your department head and the EMU-AAUP at the same time.  We can help you get action so that you can teach and your students can learn in an appropriate classroom environment.

On Behalf of the EMU-AAUP Executive Committee,

Susan Moeller
EMU-AAUP President

March 3, 2015

Message on Classroom Student Conduct – Response to Provost’s Email

Dear EMU Faculty Colleagues:

One particular item that the EMU-AAUP will address in negotiations is faculty and student safety in the classroom and our ongoing disagreement with the administration's understanding and handling of the matter. The administration's position was articulated in the Provost's most recent email (February 17) to the faculty as is discussed below.  Although we are pleased that the Provost finally communicated with the faculty about this situation, we have concerns with the additional comments and interpretations on faculty and student safety as evidenced in her email.

In discussions with the Provost, and based on her comments in a recent Senate meeting, it appears that she believes that the faculty need to put more 'rules' in their syllabi to cover disruptive student behavior and the outcome of such behavior to be imposed by a faculty member.  The Provost wants the EMU administration to have cover if a faculty member demands that a student be removed from their classes.  

December 2, 2014

EMU AAUP Executive Committee Election 2014

Position     Candidate President Susan Moeller Vice President Rhonda Fowler Treasurer Howard Bunsis Secretary Jenny Kindred Member At Large (select 4) Jessica Elton   Elizabeth Currans […]
November 7, 2014

Health Care Options for Faculty at EMU 2015

Open enrollment upon us. If you are confused about your choices, Please follow this link for an explaination of your choices.
October 13, 2014

Administrations looking for more ways to cut academics

Is there a way to reduce costs and preserve appropriate student-faculty ratios?

It’s hard to raise much excitement over a chart, but a recent one that breaks down how colleges can reduce the number of sections they teach and reduce faculty time while educating the same number of students might be getting there. But not all the excitement is positive.