Defending the Citadel: A Personal Narrative is about a school--a community college in Illinois, Belleville Area College (BAC), now Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC)--the author's experiences at the college, as well as the experiences of other professors there from 1967 until 1995.
Its purpose is two-fold.
First, the author has set out an historical narrative of the attempt of the Belleville Area College's board of trustees, its administration, and faculty members the administration solicited, to do away with a traditional college faculty, to corporatize the college and turn it into a for-profit institution--a debilitating and anti-educational, but prophetic practice, that in years following would be taken up by and become endemic to college and university boards around the country.
Second, the author has related, within a personal narrative, the response of a majority of the BAC faculty to the board and its administration's practices, an historically notable response that in 1967 activated for the first time an American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter as a collective bargaining unit, led to a three-week faculty strike in 1980, created the first joint American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AFT) local union amalgamation in the country, transferred faculty governance from a traditional Faculty Senate to a collectively bargained contract–at BAC-SWIC, the Memorandum of Understanding--and eventually led to the unionization of the entire school.
The narrative further chronicles the 1967-1995 BAC faculty's insistence on entering the AAUP “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” into the Memorandum of Understanding and into Board Policy, the faculty's determination to secure a contractual control of intellectual property rights (the first ever included in a faculty contract by a college or university in the United States) and its diligence in seeing through the Illinois General Assembly the 1980 Community College Teacher Tenure law and the Illinois Educational Employees Collective Bargaining Act in 1984.
What is recorded here is a small but significant part of the saga of the Belleville Area College faculty's historic resistance to a corrupt board and its corporate agenda, a small account in the recent American post-secondary school past, and a tribute to a faculty's extra-ordinary attempt to maintain quality higher-educational instruction at a community college in Illinois.
If the Sun Should ask is a personal narrative-memoir of a boy's life on his grandfather's farm and in a small town in Southern Illinois in the middle of the twentieth century (1937-1955).
"While the entirety of nature lay in silence, in peace, soothed by the sun's enormous heat, knowing that all things will pause if the sun should ask, we took solace in the soft-spoken isolation of the distances from one another of the garden in which we lived."
[May 2, 2019]
This book is about a professor’s strike at a school–a community college in Illinois, Belleville Area College (BAC) now Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC)–my experiences, as well as the experiences of other professors there from 1967 until 1981. Its purpose is two-fold. First, I have set out an historical narrative of some of the more problematic practices pursued by the school’s board of trustees, its administration, and faculty members the administration solicited in support of these practices. Second, I have related the response of a majority of the BAC faculty to these practices, a response among other things, would lead to the three-week faculty strike in 1980, eventually create the initial joint American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AFT) local union amalgamation in the country, transfer faculty governance from a traditional Faculty Senate to a collectively bargained contract–at BAC-SWIC, the Memorandum of Understanding–and eventually lead to the unionization of the entire school. What I report here is a small account of that past, a part of the saga of what the Belleville Area College faculty did in an attempt to cut into the corporate agenda and to maintain quality higher-educational instruction at one community college in Illinois.