Hampshire College AAUP Chapter

The mandate of the Hampshire College chapter of the AAUP is to advocate for the interests of faculty employees in solidarity with our staff colleagues.

Contact:

Hampshire Faculty Legal Services Fund

On February 1, 2019 the senior administration of Hampshire College announced its decision not to admit the freshmen class in the Fall of 2019.

As the college is heavily tuition-dependent, this sudden and unexpected decision will lead to layoffs of 30-50% of faculty and staff beginning April 1, 2019. The senior administration has made it clear that it intends to break faculty contracts, leaving those laid off unemployed after the hiring cycles for academic positions have closed. For that reason, the Hampshire College chapter of the AAUP has sought out and identified a respected Boston labor firm to represent the faculty in the ongoing conversations with the administration.

Hampshire Faculty Legal Services Fund was established to support the costs of our legal representation and is a fiscally sponsored project of the Alliance for Global Justice, 501c3 nonprofit. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

To donate by check, make your check payable to Alliance for Global Justice / Hampshire Faculty Legal Support Fund and mail to:

225 E. 26th Street, Suite 1, Tucson, AZ 85713

For the check to be cashed and applied to the Hampshire Faculty Legal Support Fund, it must be made to either

  • Alliance for Global Justice / Hampshire Faculty Legal Support Fund, or
  • Alliance for Global Justice, with the Hampshire Faculty Legal Support Fund on the memo line.

LATEST NEWS

Miriam Nelson resigned from her position as the President of Hampshire College.

Kim Saal resigned from the position of the Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees.

The Board voted "to endorse the primary direction of engaging fully in fundraising in support of an independent Hampshire" and Kenneth Rosenthal, a founding member of Hampshire College, was appointed as its interim president by the Interim Chair of the Board, Luis A. Hernandez.

Chairwoman of Hampshire College Board of Trustees, Gaye Hill resigns.

RE-ENVISIONING HAMPSHIRE:

A coalition of faculty, staff, students, alums, and parents puts forth a proposal for an independent Hampshire College. Learn more about the Re-Envisioning Plan: https://www.reenvisioninghampshire.org/

Our Concerns

We are opposed to the following actions of the Hampshire College Board of Trustees and President Miriam Nelson:

  • Violation of the basic principles of shared governance by
    • The lack of transparency and the use of non-disclosure agreements to limit community access to vital information, including a detailed financial plan of the budget for AY 19/20 starting fiscal year July 1st, 2019.
    • The exclusion of the faculty from participation in major decisions affecting the academic program and future of the institution, including the decision not to admit a Fall 2019 class.
    • The small cohort of the Hampshire Community members who are members of the Hampshire Visioning Taskforce were required to sign permanent and binding non-disclosure agreements, preventing them from sharing the deliberations with the rest of the faculty, staff, and students.


  • Violation of faculty representation by requiring the Dean of Faculty to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)
    • The Dean of Faculty is charged with representing faculty interests to the administration, and communicating with faculty about such interests; signing an NDA has prevented faculty from being informed about and involved in major changes planned by the administration.


  • Threats to break faculty contracts, and refusal to honor reappointment practices
    • The Board of Trustees and the President have indicated that they will not honor faculty contracts, providing no legal justification. Members of the Board of Trustees have said that they expect 30%-50% of the faculty and staff to be laid off by July 1, 2019.
    • The President has indefinitely delayed approving the seven faculty reappointments that were due for presidential approval in January. Having followed all proper procedures detailed in the Faculty Handbook, all seven faculty were recommended for reappointment by the individual Schools and approved by the College Committee on Faculty Reappointments and Promotions.


  • The apparent lack of serious consultations with the members of the Five College Consortium regarding the decision not to admit the Fall 2019 class and the potential strategic partnership.
    • The letters issued by the presidents of Amherst, Smith, and Mount Holyoke Colleges to their own constituents indicate that the Hampshire College administration did not consult them on these key matters.
    • Hampshire was founded by the other four colleges and is deeply connected with them. Non-consultation with members of our consortium is deleterious to all five schools.
  • Condoning intimidation of staff by directing (or at least not intervening) in a letter to staff from the Human Resources asking employees not to discuss the ongoing crisis during working hours.

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