Defending the Citadel by Wayne Lanter
A Personal Narrative

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This book is about a school–a community college in Illinois, Belleville Area College (BAC) now Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC)–my experiences, as well as the experiences of other professors there from 1967 until 1995. Its purpose is two-fold. First, I have set out an historical narrative of some of the more problematic practices pursued by the school’s board of trustees, its administration, and faculty members the administration solicited in support of these practices. Second, I have related the response of a majority of the BAC faculty to these practices, a response among other things, in 1967 that activated for the first time an American Association of University Professors (AAUP) chapter as a collective bargaining unit, led to a three-week faculty strike in 1980, created the initial joint American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AFT) local union amalgamation in the country, transferred faculty governance from a traditional Faculty Senate to a collectively bargained contract–at BAC-SWIC, the Memorandum of Understanding–and eventually led to the unionization of the entire school. Additionally, from 1967 to 1995, the BAC faculty entered into the Memorandum of Understanding, the AAUP “1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure,” a contractual control of intellectual property rights (the first ever included in a faculty contract by any college or university in the United States) and helped see through the Illinois General Assembly the 1980 Community College Teacher Tenure law and the Illinois Educational Employees Collective Bargaining Act in 1984. The conflicts these issues generated are endemic and, for well over a hundred years now, have been ongoing in post-secondary educational institutions across the nation. What I report here is a small account of that past, a part of the saga of what the Belleville Area College faculty did in an attempt to cut into the corporate agenda and to maintain quality higher-educational instruction at one community college in Illinois.

About Wayne Lanter

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Wayne Lanter is a Writing Fellow and graduate of the University of Iowa's Program in Creative Writing. He is the author of six books of poetry, The Waiting Room, Threshing Time, Canonical Hours, At Float on the Ohta-gawa, (an epic narrative commemorating the destruction of the city of Hiroshima) A Season of Long Taters, In This House of Men, and a novel The Final Days. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.
Published February 9, 2012 by Twiss Hill Press. 393 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Biographies & Memoirs.

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Intertwined is a caustic, loose-jointed critique of higher education that takes swipes at watered-down grading, vapid learn-at-home telecourses, excessive concern for student self-esteem, junky “education” degrees and religious zealots who want to censor their profs;

Apr 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Defending the Citadel: A Pers...

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He bluntly notes, “Teachers generally prefer to be left to their solitary academic pursuits and would rather not soil their hands with the mundane and seamy world of politics … But in truth … politics is inherent in teaching.” Lanter clearly understands the environment in which college faculty op...

Feb 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Defending the Citadel: A Pers...

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