Merrimack Sociology Department chairman cited in national publication

A blog post in “Academe Magazine” written by Merrimack Sociology Department chairman Michael DeCesare, who's also chairman of the American Association of University Professors' Committee on College and University Governance, was recently cited in the prestigious “Inside Higher Ed” magazine detailing tenure controversy at the University of Texas's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and its move toward shared governance with faculty members.

“Hopefully, the administration’s moves toward improving academic due process and instituting a shared governance model indicate that it is actively working toward getting itself removed from the AAUP censure list,” DeCesare wrote in his blog post. Inside Higher Ed often cites issues about academic freedom and tenure issues. The AAUP censured the cancer center in June.

“I just think the more people know what’s going on at premier institutions like that, the more careful they will be before they violate shared governance practices,” DeCesare said of the citation in “Inside Higher Ed”. “It’s good to draw public attention to these cases.”

DeCesare is president of the Merrimack chapter of the AAUP and was named chairman of the national group’s Committee on College and University Governance in July.

M.D. Anderson’s president Ronald DePinho recently denied a seven-year term tenure to two faculty members despite recommendations by an 11-member Promotion and Tenure Committee. UT System Chancellor U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven (Ret.) ordered DePinho to move from a top-down chain of authority to a democratic system.