UIC United Faculty Awards First Annual
John Shuler Award for Shared Governance and Academic Freedom
to the English Department
Resolution Adopted by the UICUF Representative Assembly
March 21, 2017
WHEREAS, the Department of English revised its bylaws in May 2015 to include “all tenured and tenure-track Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors, all non-tenure track Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Visiting Lecturers, and all tenured, tenure-track or non-tenure track Clinical Assistant Professors, Clinical Associate Professors, and Clinical Full Professors” in its definition of its faculty, making Non-Tenure Track faculty voting members of the Department and creating permanent positions for all ranks on standing department committees;
AND WHEREAS, under the leadership of former Head Walter Benn Michaels, current Head Lisa Freeman, and members of the Non-Tenure Track and Tenure Track faculty, the Department of English led the effort in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to develop procedures for Non-Tenure Track promotion in accordance with provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement;
AND WHEREAS, the Department of English has developed transparent procedures for reviewing and documenting the performance of Non-Tenure Track faculty, including regular teaching observations, department-specific student teaching evaluations, and norms for service and professional development;
AND WHEREAS, the Department of English has a long-standing practice of electing a Steering Committee, which as of May 2015 included Non-Tenure Track faculty members, to oversee the process of ranking faculty members for merit-based raises;
AND WHEREAS, faculty in the Department of English have been leaders in the movement to protect academic freedom and defend public higher education, including organizing a Free Higher Education event in January 2016, publishing on the UIC United Faculty organizing campaign in Jacobin Magazine (Davis & Michaels, 2014), and publishing on the AAUP One Faculty campaign in Academe (Michaels & McFarland, 2015);
IT IS RESOLVED, that the Department of English will be awarded the 2016-2017 UIC United Faculty John Shuler Award for Shared Governance and Academic Freedom.
UICUF’s John Shuler Award for Shared Governance and Academic Freedom will be an annual award to a department or college that demonstrates its commitment, through action, to truly democratic shared governance and academic freedom. The union sees the Shuler award as a way to sustain our memory of John and to continue the work he had planned for his future, encouraging our faculty to pursue these goals in his spirit and his honor.
John Shuler was a beloved member of the UICUF community. Doggedly involved with the union from its beginning, he was a tireless member of our bargaining committee and, at the time of his untimely death in 2016, served as treasurer. He was also energetically involved with the UIC Senate. For 23 years, John was a mainstay at the UIC library, responsible for government information/documents.