BOONE—Dr. Gregory G. Reck, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Appalachian State University, has received the 2016 Award for Academic Freedom and Faculty Governance from the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).
The chapter singled out Reck’s career-long defense of academic freedom and shared governance, his support for colleagues and his service in Faculty Senate and Appalachian’s AAUP chapter, of which he is currently vice president. The award recognizes a member of the university community whose outstanding service has enriched the university by defending, supporting and working to advance academic freedom and faculty governance across the campus.
Reck served as the first chair of Appalachian’s Department of Anthropology from 1979-83 and again from 2002-11. He also served as associate dean for research and grants in the university’s Cratis D. Williams Graduate School from 1983-92.
One nominating letter praised Reck for being “[h]umble but most certainly not quiet,” adding: “he brings a quiet but unwavering compassion to those most pressing issues which weigh heavily upon most faculty’s minds … He speaks his mind with eloquence. He accepts that his own position will be threatened when he speaks up. But his grace rarely draws scorn from those for whom he works, both faculty and students, precisely because of his ability to inspire.”
It was also noted that “[b]ecause of [his] ideals, he has defended faculty who were unjustly censured.” Reck, a supporter observed, “has always moved forward with the mantra that if nobody questions the potentiality of a threat to academic freedom and shared governance, … then those very freedoms and governance structures would be eroded far in advance.”
Reck received his B.A. from the University of Houston and earned his Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in 1972. The same year, he began his career in Appalachian’s Department Anthropology. He is an accomplished scholar of rural Mexico, India and Appalachia, who examines how global processes affect small communities. He is described by his colleagues as an admired professor who has changed the lives of generations of Appalachian students.
About the AAUP
Founded in 1915, the AAUP is a national organization of American college and university professors which has chapters on over 450 campuses. According to its website, the AAUP’s mission is to “to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good.” Prominent members have included John Dewey and Albert Einstein.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.