AAUP says Spalding University unjustly fired tenured professor

Updated: Jun. 18, 2017 at 2:54 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Spalding University was added to the Academic Freedom Censure List on Saturday.

The American Association of University Professors voted to censure Spalding after the controversial firing of a tenured professor.

Dr. Erlene Grise-Owens was let go after complaining about an incident involving a student and a gun in 2016. She was upset that all faculty weren't notified about the incident.

>> Tenured Spalding professor says firing was over school threat

Spalding University President Tori Murden McClure defended the decision to fire Grise-Owens, saying the professor slandered the student.

The AAUP investigation committee said Spalding violated Grise-Owens' academic freedom by firing her without due process. Click here to read the AAUP's report.

Spalding University released the following statement in response to the AAUP's decision:

Grise Owens was on Sabbatical when the alleged events occurred. The time-line reported to AAUP was inaccurate. The allegations made against the student were exaggerated in every detail. Every full-time faculty member in her department has been supportive of this dismissal.

The AAUP has no relationship to Spalding University. No one familiar with the actual facts in this case participated in what the AAUP calls an "investigation." 

We ended the employment of Grise Owens for disparaging a student after she was repeatedly asked to stop. We consulted with the Faculty Senate, and the other full-time faculty in the department supported this decision. The AAUP is a union with a reputation for protecting tenure. Spalding University was protecting a student.

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