April 16, 2014 |
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These reviews are completely toothless! As will be the new proposed faculty review program! Dean's would love to get rid of some of these folks who have went ROAD (retired on active duty) a long time ago! They know and worse, these faculty know they are safe!!
While I bristle at some of the populist, knee-jerk attacks on tenure, some of the criticisms ring true.
Tenure has truly become a "job for life", which is a problem. It was always intended to be a "job for life based on continued performance". There are regulations on the books at KU already that specify performance standards and means for firing tenured professors for underperformance. These rules are just never enforced, but they do indicate that continued tenure was originally meant to be based on continued performance.
Just as we say that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, the price of tenure is enforcing high standards of performance. Allowing performance standards to slip and allowing underperforming tenured faculty members to slide will result in the destruction of the tenure system.
So, if you like tenure, then you should be fighting for high performance standards and enforcement of these standards on tenured faculty.
Post-tenure review is a definite step in the right direction to save the tenure system.
Tenure just makes them untouchable to get rid of them. Once they do all their "research" to get there, they can sit back and relax because we get stuck with some of them (I'm sure there are some that continue to do research). Kinda like that 18% gratuity you pay for with large parties and then get a horrible waitstaff who doesn't deserve it because they know they get it regardless! Once they do the set up for most of their classes, they just teach the same thing year to year .. most faculty aren't even see but once or twice a week to teach .. yet they continue to get more money while the people doing the real work every day keeping the lights on get told "there's no money for raises"!
Qualified people are promoted in every walk of life. Some of the folks on that list are very successful people who are managing millions of dollars in funded research and doing an outstanding job in the classroom too.
As a result of the sustained drive to underfund higher education in the State of Kansas it is very likely that the brightest folks on that list are being underpaid by KU and would have no problem finding better paying jobs if they so chose. It is simple free market economics.
All this arguing about promotion and tenure negates the fact that a competitive higher education institution like KU needs to hire and promote qualified faculty and pay them competitive salaries.
Folks like the ones commenting on this story would be happy to see KU turned into a low quality vocational school with the faculty nobody else wanted to hire. That is all well and good until you stop to think that those faculty would be training your kids to be pharmacists, doctors, and engineers.
Yes, by all means, eliminate tenure. Protecting freedom to pursue controversial research is definitely anachronistic. It's only at private religious colleges that faculty are fired for saying the wrong things. That could never be a concern here.
After all, it's not as though we have state legislators introducing bills that might, say, prevent the use of public funds to promote sustainable development of resources.
It's not as though we have legislators attempting to force our medical schools to pursue specific kinds of research that are in line with their religious views.
It's not as though our legislators would try to do anything like prevent KU Medical Center from teaching emergency procedures that all graduates from accredited programs are required to learn.
It's not as though our legislators would ever try to require that intelligent design be taught in science classes.
So, all of you Nobel Prize winning climate scientists, evolutionary biologists, and genetic engineers shouldn't worry one bit about coming to a university in Kansas without tenure. You only need anachronistic protections like tenure when there are anachronistic politics that could get you fired for doing the wrong kind of research. We certainly don't have any reason to worry about that here.
I agree. Tenure is an anachronistic institution and leads to mediocrity and unmotivated, inactive faculty members.
If tenure is retained, universities must do a much more pro active job or rooting out dead wood and lazy faculty members. They can do this now, it is just never pursued.
I strongly disagree with tenure. No other profession has this. Tenure has to go!
It is very interesting that the chancellor, while doing nothing to promote lower student fees, loans, on-line classes, does not have a problem with tenure. That is ridiculous!
This is not the way to lead KU to become a university of the future.
Wow. With all the cuts in state funding, where are they getting the money for all of these promotions & tenure?
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