LSU defends firing of associate professor as faculty senate takes up resolution asking officials to reverse decision

    LSU has released what it says will be its final public statement on the June 19 firing of Associate Professor Teresa Buchanan, defending the controversial move as the LSU Faculty Senate prepares to take up a resolution this afternoon that asks LSU to reverse its decision.

    “Coverage of the dismissal has primarily centered on the characterization by the individual in question of her termination as due to ‘salty’ language, and framed as issues of academic freedom and tenure. This is irresponsible and grossly misinterprets the facts,” reads a statement from LSU issued Tuesday. “The evidence, as ascertained by a faculty hearing committee and university administrators, students and other faculty, is that over the course of several years, the faculty member had berated, embarrassed, disparaged, maligned and denigrated young, primarily female students who aspired to become elementary school teachers.”

    The LSU Faculty Senate resolution up for consideration at this afternoon’s meeting, which began at 3 p.m., notes that a faculty committee chosen to hear Buchanan’s case had unanimously recommended that she be censured, not fired.

    Instead of pursuing censure, LSU President F. King Alexander called Buchanan’s termination, which the LSU Board of Supervisors supported at its June 19 meeting.

    The faculty resolution calls for “Alexander, Provost Stuart Bell, and Dean Damon Andrew of the College of Human Sciences and Education be censured for their failure to adhere to due process standards in faculty review proceedings and for their pursuit of confusing, dangerous, and untenable standards for dismissal of a tenured faculty member at Louisiana State University.”

    The resolution further calls on LSU to reverse its decision to fire Buchanan.

    See the complete LSU Faculty Senate resolution, and read the complete statement from LSU, which concludes by saying: “Due to pending litigation, this is all LSU is going to say about the matter at this time. The facts of the case will be revealed through the legal process.”

    —Steve Sanoski

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