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Pro-Administration Bias in Stotter v. University of Texas at San Antonio Article

Posted By: Russell Eisenman on June 23, 2008
There are some excellent points made by Fossey and Cutright in their article about the lawsuit of Stotter v. University of Texas at San Antonio. Congratulations to the authors for pointing out this case and providing some good insights. However, they write with a pro-administration bias, telling administrators the things they can do to overcome the will of professors. I thought they must be administrators until I read their affiliations note. Perhaps they aspire to be university administrators, and make life hell for professors. Consider this paragraph from their article and think about the word "might" in the last sentence.

"First, colleges and universities should consider adopting policies that restrict employees from storing personal property on campus without the permission of their supervisors. Exceptions might be made for professorsí personal books and research materials or other items that pertain to a scholarís work." from Fossey & Cutright, 2008.

MIGHT? I, as a professor, might have the right to bring to my office some books and my research materials? You have got to be kidding. That is the essence of being a professor, that you read and possess important books, and, in doing research, you can bring research materials to your office. But, Fossey and Cutright want to make this optional, at the will of college administators? Either they overlooked the implication of what they are saying, or they are so blindly proadministration that they favor an authoritarian administration that can pretty much do whatever it wants.

They might have criticized the UT at San Antonio administration more strongly, too. That administration 1. waited a long time to do anything and then 2. acted with ridiculous haste to throw away property of the professor. To the authors' credit, they did point out these things, but did not emphasize enough how poorly the administation response was. The overreaction of the administation against the professor should also have had more criticism. Why destroy someone's job over these issues? Unless you are an authoritarian administator who says "My way or the highway." Is that what Fossey and Cutright want to favor? If not, they need to write more about the rights of professors and also what makes for a decent university. Hint: it is not the total control of the administation. In fact, without teaching and research there would be no university.

Reference to court case

Stotter v. University of Texas at San Antonio, 508 F.3d 812 (5thCir. 2007).

Russell Eisenman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Texas-Pan American
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

E-mail: eisenman@utpa.edu

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 Pro-Administration Bias in Stotter v. University of Texas at San Antonio Article by Russell Eisenman on June 23, 2008
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