Friday, October 10, 2014 Our Continuing Mission

From the Officers of the Colgate Chapter of the AAUP

The AAUP blog has been up and running since March 2013.  The mission of the blog from the beginning has been to provide a space for debate, the expression of opinion, the raising of awareness, and the sharing of information—in short, to provide a forum for conversation among Colgate faculty.  We believe that the blog has been successful in this purpose.  We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Aaron Robertson, who initially set up the blog and who has ably served as its editor for the nearly twenty months of its existence.

Today we are announcing several changes. Lynn Staley will be taking on the post of editor.  All new posts after today should be sent to her.  Our thanks go to Lynn for being willing to take on this important task.

We have also decided to revive the Vox Facultatis, the previous hard-copy incarnation of the AAUP blog; some of you might be old enough to remember the old photocopies carefully stuffed into your mailbox.  We are not reviving the hard-copy format—the new Vox will be on line, available as a link accessible from the regular blog page—but we are reviving one particular aspect: the Vox issue discussion format, a collection of essays on a single topic.  We will advertise the topics in advance and solicit contributions; we will also invite guest editors to develop special issues.

Finally, we have drawn up a set of editorial guidelines.  In what follows below we do not pretend to have foreseen all possible issues that might arise, and we reserve the right to modify these rules as new situations arise. 
  • Each post will now bear a disclaimer: “The following post does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the AAUP membership or that of its officers, nor does inclusion of the post on this website constitute an endorsement by the AAUP chapter of Colgate University.”
  • We will accept comments from outside, but also reserve the right to remove comments that are defamatory, insulting, or off-topic.
  • We will continue to publish anonymous posts.  We mean by this that the name will not be published; the editor will know the identity of the contributor.  The reasoning behind the initial decision to allow such postings is probably obvious; we did not want to close our columns to those who do not have the protection of tenure.  Members of AAUP have made a plausible case against “anonymous” postings, for the equally obvious reason that it allows the author of the post to evade personal responsibility for what is said.  The officers of AAUP revisited the issue earlier this semester (Fall 2014) and once again decided that we will indeed continue to accept anonymous posts, in the hope that those who feel vulnerable will not also feel silenced. 
  • We will continue the blog’s commitment to the exercise of free speech by Colgate faculty.  Believing that vigorous exchanges of opinion are valuable, we will publish nearly everything that is submitted.  But we also will use editorial discretion to ask for revisions or even to refuse posts that contain the following elements:

o   Personal attacks against an individual or group, as distinct from policy disagreements.
o   Reports of private conversations.  (Public statements made before a group are fair game.)
o   Demonstrably inaccurate statements of fact.

The emerging etiquette of blog writing calls for a poster to provide a link to any other blog that is cited.  In this spirit of giving credit to others, and with the aim of providing access to the original material on which a poster comments, we ask that links to quoted websites or other documents be provided if at all possible.

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