A national group of university instructors has taken an interest in an ongoing dispute between the University of West Georgia faculty and President Brendan Kelly.

The American Association of University Professors addressed a three-page letter to Kelly on May 6 acknowledging that the campus chapter of the AAUP had sought its “advice and assistance” in dealing with a series of matters “which appear to us to raise important issues relating to the role of the faculty in the governance of the university.”

In the letter, the AAUP reiterated many of the concerns that were brought forth by several UWG faculty members. This includes:

  • the role of the faculty in long-range academic planning matters and particularly about the reported lack of consideration given to faculty with respect to planned budget reductions and strategic planning
  • complaints about the reorganization of the University’s three colleges and numerous departments being conducted without obtaining the approval of the Faculty Senate as required under the institution’s own policies
  • objections to the imposition of a new procedure for policy formation which virtually eliminates the historic role played by the faculty in policy formation and approval that was followed by a refusal of the Faculty Senate’s request to meet with it to discuss faculty concerns regarding the new policy, which they considered to be an egregious violation of shared governance norms

The letter was copied to the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, the 19 members of the Board of Regents, the Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, and several faculty leaders at UWG.

It concludes by asking Kelly for his comments on the matter.

A majority of faculty issued a no-confidence vote in Kelly in October, following a similar action by a majority of the faculty senate. In November, Chancellor Steve Wrigley of the University System of Georgia issued a statement that said he and the Board of Regents “wholeheartedly support President Kelly and his work to led UWG through tremendous challenges.”

On Friday, Kelly sent a response to the AAUP letter to The Times-Georgian:

“Our central job is to create opportunities for students that will have a lasting positive impact on their lives after graduation,” he said. “My administration works with faculty every day to advance the University of West Georgia under the policies and systems designated by the board of regents and University System of Georgia to create opportunities for students.”