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ERIC Number: ED592095
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Oct
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Academic Freedom and Tenure: St. Edward's University (Texas)
American Association of University Professors
St. Edward's University is a private, four-year institution affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church that traces its beginnings to 1877, when the Congregation of Holy Cross, an order of French missionaries, founded St. Edward's Academy on farmland south of Austin, Texas. St. Edward's received its charter as a college in 1885 and as a university in 1925, first began enrolling female students in 1966, and became fully coeducational in 1970. The university's accreditor is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In its mission statement, St. Edward's describes itself as "an independent Catholic university that welcomes qualified students of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs." On January 9, 2018, Dr. Shannan Butler and Dr. Corinne Weisgerber, each a tenured associate professor with nearly twelve years of service at St. Edward's University, were summoned to a meeting with two administrators. To their surprise, they were handed letters when they arrived. Since their behavior, the letters alleged, "reflect[ed] a continued disrespect and disregard for the mission and goals of the university," their "employment [was] being terminated." They were immediately escorted from campus. One month earlier, Dr. Katie E. Peterson, a tenure-track assistant professor in her fifth year of service to SEU, received a non-reappointment letter--to her surprise. It read in part: "In accord with St. Edward's current efforts to 'right size' the University, the current enrollment trends in the Teacher Education Program make it imperative that we reduce the number of faculty in Teacher Education. . . . I regret to inform you that you will not be reappointed for 2018-19. Your position as Assistant Professor of Reading in the School of Education will conclude May 18, 2018." This report describes the actions taken by the St. Edward's administration against Professors Butler, Weisgerber, and Peterson.
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of University Professors
Identifiers - Location: Texas