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On KU announces promotion, tenure for faculty


traveler12 5 years, 2 months ago

Wow. With all the cuts in state funding, where are they getting the money for all of these promotions & tenure?

elliottaw 5 years, 2 months ago

There is little to no pay raise for most who make tenure, outside of medical, law and engineers.

Jim Tebow 5 years, 2 months ago

Traveler12, Tenure doesn't necessarily come with a raise.

Lawrence Morgan 5 years, 2 months ago

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.

elliottaw 5 years, 2 months ago

So you propose there be no incentive for the professors to work harder to do this, and do you know how much these people bring in grants, how much attention they bring to the university with their research. I didn't think so. Your statement clearly shows that you do not understand how tenure works, you seem to believe the Fox News narrative that once people get tenure they are fire proof. Please take the time to talk to a professor and ask them about how tenure works.

Jim Tebow 5 years, 2 months ago

kansasplains1, KU already has much lower tuition and fees for in and out of state than a vast majority of the comparable schools (size and academic quality) in the country

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 2 months ago

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.

chootspa 5 years, 2 months ago

Most of the dead wood and lazy faculty members are weeded out by the tenure process itself. They don't automatically grant it, you know. It also works in reverse - by gaining tenure, it's less likely a quality professor is going to take a job at some other institution - they'd have to go through that whole tenure process again.

The way universities are declining in quality is actually by making fewer tenure track positions and fluffing up their teaching staff with a lot of adjunct faculty. That lowers the bar on quality professors by lowering their pay and subjects more of them to politically based firings. Want Brownback in charge of appointing faculty at KU?

elliottaw 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually tenure usually moves with the professor, but most schools, including KU in the coming year, still do reviews to ensure professors are meeting a set level of production.

Jim Tebow 5 years, 2 months ago

elliottaw, Not exactly. Oftentimes, an Associate Professor is required to take an Assistant Professor position if they want a job at a better institution.

elliottaw 5 years, 2 months ago

The 15+ professors that I have know who have changed schools have all either gone as a Associate or where given full professor tenure when they took the job, I have never heard of anyone switching schools and taking a demotion

Brian Laird 5 years, 1 month ago

It does happen, but generally Universities who are trying to hire someone from another Institution are doing so because the person has an excellent, established track record and they actually want to to everything to get them to take the job. Generally, offering tenure is part of that recruitment package. However, the decision still has to officially be vetted by that University's Promotion and Tenure committee to ensure that the institution's standards are upheld. It has happened that people have been not offered tenure when being offered a job at another institution. Such hirings usually fail unless there is a large difference in the quality of the Universities. For example, when a person is recruited from a 4 year liberal arts college or teaching university to a "Reseach I" university, such as KU, they are not offered tenure, but are given a shortened time clock to earn it. Same is true for faculty recruited from industry.

chootspa 5 years, 1 month ago

That makes sense. They're essentially giving them a pre-hiring tenure review based on their record at the other institution.

Bob Reinsch 5 years, 2 months ago

Well said. The Board of Regents has asked all state universities to implement to implement a post tenure revue process. The last thing I want to see at KU, KSU or WSU is more faculty by appointment. The fact of the matter is, most people outside of academia have very little knowledge about the system, how it works,and how difficult the process can be for tenure candidates. There are also huge differences between Research Universities, like KU, and for-profit diploma mills like the University of Phoenix and their ilk. Please don't let the University of Kansas become a bottom feeder like those places. Do you want your kids to list the University of Phoenix on their resumes, or that they performed valuable research alongside a recognized leader in their field at the University of Kansas? Get real, people!

question4u 5 years, 2 months ago

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.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 2 months ago

While I see your argument, KU already has a problem recruiting the best and brightest because these people do not want to live in a state as backward politically and socially as Kansas.

Because of low standards, KU has failed to make itself a desirable place for "nobel-prize-winning scientists and scholars". The backward atmosphere of the state keeps them away in droves, and KU is not good enough to attract them despite the backwardness of the state.

verity 5 years, 2 months ago

That certainly makes an excellent argument against tenure /sarcasm/

JuanValdez 5 years, 2 months ago

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.

Tammy Copp-Barta 5 years, 2 months ago

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"!

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 2 months ago

While what you say is true in principle, too many tenured faculty disprove it in practice.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 1 month ago

You know as well as I that naming individuals would be a violation of the use agreement of this site, and likely unethical as well.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 2 months ago

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.

elliottaw 5 years, 2 months ago

schools do reviews every couple of years (ku starting next year) and you can be released, even with tenure, if you are not meeting "the standard"

TongiJayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

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!!

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