Professors air grievances in open letter, claim university discipline made professor “a threat to himself”

Multiple faculty members authored an open letter detailing their objections to the disciplinary actions taken against their former colleague Michael Shively. Shively, according to the letter, took his own life on Aug. 19.

UVU’s statement denies wrongdoing in case of Michael Shively

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Multiple faculty members authored an open letter detailing their objections to the disciplinary actions taken against their former colleague Michael Shively. According to the letter, Shively took his own life on Aug. 19, after his investigation had been cleared.

A statement distributed to UVU’s Faculty Senate, the self-described “official voice of the faculty” at UVU, listed the infractions that lead to Shively’s suspension and the investigation that followed, ultimately claiming that “most of the allegations (against Shively) were substantiated.”

The allegations that lead to Shively’s suspension were noted in UVU’s statement, including, “intimidation and bullying of students and colleagues”, “discrimination” and “retaliation”.

In a blog post, Scott Abbott, a professor of integrated studies at UVU, provided his commentary on UVU’s handling of Shively’s suspension.

“Repeated decisions by the (Matt) Holland/(Jeffrey) Olson administration, along with this case initiated by the (Astrid) Tuminez/Olson administration working on inherited principles, have caused harm to individual members of the faculty and have degraded our confidence that principles of fairness and due process will be adhered to,” posted Abbott on the blog.

Here are the letters in full.

Open Letter Shively by Anonymous DVisFC7 on Scribd

Shively FINAL 2019.13.09 v2 by Zachary Smith on Scribd

A new and updated statement was provided for release after the publication of this article. This updated statement is provided above. The contents of the statement itself were virtually unchanged.

An updated letter was provided with additional staff signatures.

4 thoughts on “Professors air grievances in open letter, claim university discipline made professor “a threat to himself”

  1. Dr Shively was one of the best teachers I have ever had. He made all of his students work hard for our grades but that made us better. Many going into a medical field were more qualified because of his requirements.

  2. The allegations were substantiated and I don’t see the value of a letter signed by professors of math or journalism. He knowingly made the continued choice to disregard university policies. What about the students that did not receive the grades they deserved due to unfair grading practices, where is their justice. It is sad Dr. Shively is gone but that is independent of UVU investigating complaints, many of which were substantiated. The blame lies with Dr Shively for his untimely death and his decisions to knowingly disregard policies and norms.

    1. The comment in the UVU response that the charges, in this case, were substantiated is self-serving and frankly not credible. Who made that determination? What was it based on? Was the determination made by a fair and impartial person?

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