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PHONE: 202.737.5900 FAX: 202.737.5526 www.aaup.org

February 9, 2016
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL AND USPS
President Simon P. Newman
Mount St. Marys University
205 Bradley Hall
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road
Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
Dear President Newman:
This Association has been advised by Professor Thane Naberhaus, until recently a tenured
associate professor of philosophy with twelve years of service at Mount St. Marys University,
of your letter of February 8, 2016, informing him of his dismissal from the faculty effective
immediately. As the only basis for the dismissal, you state that his recent actions have
violated a duty of loyalty to this University. You do not, however, further specify the actions
to which you refer, and Professor Naberhaus has informed us that he is unaware of what these
actions might be. We understand that Professor Naberhaus was not afforded a dismissal
hearing. Coming, as it did, on the heels of public criticism over statements attributed to you,
the dismissal raises the question whether it was in response to this criticism. Press reports have
indicated that two additional faculty members either may have been dismissed or will be
dismissed.
Assuming the accuracy of the information in our possession, we are writing to advise you that
your administrations action to dismiss Professor Naberhaus without having first
demonstrated adequacy of cause in a faculty hearing is fundamentally at odds with basic
standards of academic due process as set forth in the enclosed 1940 Statement of Principles on
Academic Freedom and Tenure and the complementary Statement on Procedural Standards in
Faculty Dismissal Proceedings. Both documents were jointly formulated with the Association of
American Colleges and Universities, and the principles and procedural standards they
espouse are widely observed throughout US higher education.
An administrations dismissal of a tenured faculty member absent demonstration of adequate
cause in a hearing of record before a duly constituted faculty body is a matter of basic concern
to our Association under its longstanding responsibilities. We therefore urge in strongest
terms that you immediately rescind the notice of dismissal issued to Professor Naberhaus and
that any subsequent action be consistent with the procedural standards cited above. We are

February 9, 2016
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additionally concerned about the reported threat of summary dismissal against other members
of the Mount St. Marys faculty, and we strongly urge that any action against them be
consistent with these procedural standards.
We look forward to your response.
Sincerely,

Hans-Joerg Tiede
Associate Secretary
Enclosures (by electronic mail only)
Cc:

John E. Coyne, III, Chair, Board of Trustees


Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, Interim Provost
Professor Michelle Tokarczyk, President, Maryland Conference of the AAUP
Professor Thane Naberhaus