Union says UNI violated privacy of professor

Student soldier’s grievance over missing an exam in class has been resolved

April 1, 2014 | 2:46 am

University of Northern Iowa faculty leaders say they are concerned about how UNI administrators conducted themselves regarding a recent student grievance filed about missed coursework.

In a statement Tuesday, representatives from United Faculty said UNI President Ben Allen in an Oct. 24 email about the student grievance "implied a student's grade was negatively impacted due to military service." This was incorrect and the misinformation was soon magnified by media coverage "that led to threats made against the faculty member involved that have required police protection," United Faculty leaders said in the statement.

"United Faculty remains concerned about administrative misconduct in this case," the statement said.

Daniel Power, president of United Faculty, the bargaining group that represents UNI faculty members, said he has requested a meeting with Allen to resolve the immediate problem of faculty safety, and the "larger, ongoing problem of poor communication and lack of respect for faculty."

At no point in the process were the grades of any student involved adversely affected by the faculty member's policy, Power said. The faculty member involved followed UNI rules regarding missed exams and requirements for student confidentiality, "but her privacy was ignored and that has potentially endangered her and her family," Power said.

The student grievance was filed in regards to the course make-up work policy, after a student said he was not allowed to make up a recent exam missed due to National Guard duty. The grievance was informally resolved Monday after a meeting of the involved parties. The specific details of those deliberations are confidential, United Faculty leaders said.

United Faculty is pleased that appropriate processes were ultimately followed and that the grievance

was resolved, the statement said.

"It is unfortunate that a false perception has been created that a military obligation is not considered an acceptable reason to miss class," Power said.

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