- Northwestern University officials are mum on why political science professor Jacqueline Stevens has been banned from campus and interaction with students, but faculty members claim her history of erratic and threatening behavior makes for an unsafe working environment.
- Stevens says that university has blocked her from the campus without cause or due process, and says the actions are tied to her opposition of university hiring practices and ties to corporate entities.
- Some faculty members say Stevens has been "aggressive" and has consistently disrupted normal workplace decorum.
There is a fine line between a faculty member being simply unlikable and potentially dangerous to colleagues and the university community. And given Northwestern's role is to maintain safety and civility for everyone in the workplace, perhaps the acrimony may be enough among a number of faculty members where an administrative change will have to be made — regardless of if Stevens breached institutional protocol or not.
For other institutions, this could be a case study on the blending of faculty activism, collegiality and personnel management. In all three areas, academic executives are charged with reviewing and adjudicating situations in order to reduce the potential for a lawsuit or extensive media coverage. But this process can be long and tedious, and much in the way that colleges must offer due process for Title IX investigations, the same level of equity must be followed in faculty proceedings.