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.
WAYNE LANTER Wayne Lanter, English Professor Emeritus, Southwestern Illinois College, was a Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa's Graduate Program in Creative Writing and at the Aspen Writer's Workshop. He is a former Contributing Editor of St. Louis Magazine. He founded and for ten years edited River King Poetry Supplement. His books of poetry include The Waiting Room, Threshing Time, At Float on the Ohta-gawa, Canonical Hours, A Season of Long Taters, and In This House of Men. He has edited New Century North American Poets, an anthology of contemporary American and Canadian poets, and has published a novel, The Final Days. His work has been anthologized in the United States and in Canada.