A conservative professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) who was already facing administratively imposed limits to his class size — something he saw as a purposeful, politically driven target — is now suffering an uncertain career fate.
The same administrator who was arbitrarily limmiting his class size is now part of a committee conducting the professor’s “excellence review,” a work performance survey used in part to determine the fate of educators.
Campus Reform has the story:
“As Campus Reform initially reported, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Professor Keith Fink has been fighting for months against efforts by his new department chair to limit the number of students who may enroll in his popular “Free Speech in the Workplace” course.
“Despite having previously taught in a 292-seat lecture hall, Fink has seen his enrollment cap slashed repeatedly, at one point to just 150 students, though it has since been raised back to 200 following a public outcry.
“Department Chair Kerri Johnson claims the restrictions are designed to ensure high quality of instruction, but Fink and his teacher’s assistant say the concern is unfounded, calling it a pretext for limiting access to the course.
“Now, according to correspondences obtained by Campus Reform, Johnson will serve on a committee conducting Fink’s “excellence review” hearing despite repeated concerns that she presents a conflict of interest.
“An ‘excellence review’ is conducted at the conclusion of a professor’s eighteenth quarter with the institution, upon which the professor is invited to submit a list of students and a list of professors whom he or she finds worthy of submitting a review, along with a list of faculty members the professor may find biased against him.
“According to The Daily Wire, such reviews are typically an easy process for professors, though, if gone wrong, result in termination, making Johnson’s involvement in the process concerning.
“Johnson, notably, only took over as chair of the Communications Studies Department last year, along with Vice Chair Greg Bryant, both of whom Fink repeatedly accuses of bias in a 46-page rebuttal of their involvement in his “excellence review” obtained by Campus Reform.
“‘My support within the department inexplicably took a turn for the worst after the appointment of Kerri Johnson and Greg Bryant to chair and vice chair, respectively, last year,’ Fink writes in his allotted candidate’s reply to the review. ‘Ever since, the department has done everything it can to rig the Excellence Review process against me in an attempt to deem me “not excellent” and relieve me of my teaching duties at UCLA.'”
Fink asked Human Resources to determine if any conflict of interest existed with the participation of Bryant and Johnson in his review. The answer? The professors have a right to examine Fink’s performance and would not be recused, Campus Reform noted.
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