A second professor from Collin College in Texas said she was told her contract would not be renewed, with college administrators citing her criticism of the college’s COVID-19 reopening plan. A number of professors at the college have spoken out about its push for in-person instruction this academic year and its general handling of pandemic-related issues — including the death of faculty member Iris Meda. But Audra Heaslip, professor of humanities, who helped draft a June Faculty Council resolution urging more online courses as coronavirus case counts rose in Texas, was accused of “bringing outside pressure” on the college to go 100 percent online, she said. Heaslip did speak to media outlets about the college’s reopening, but she never pushed for 100 percent online instruction during the pandemic.
Instead of her comments about COVID-19, Heaslip suspects that it was her involvement as an officer of her campus’s fledgling chapter of the Texas Faculty Association that put her in the college’s crosshairs. Heaslip said she was effectively fired late Thursday afternoon. Earlier that day, the college’s provost called a meeting with Suzanne Jones, a longtime professor of education, to tell her that she was being nonrenewed for similar reasons. Jones was offered a three-year contract in August, only to see it revoked months later. Jones is also an officer with the college’s TFA chapter, which acts like a union but is not recognized, as Texas prohibits collective bargaining among public employees. The college has declined comment on personnel issues.