Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another Point Of View #3

Here's another point of view about tenure:

Rather than endure the negative consequences on Nevada’s academic reputation by eliminating tenure, we should work toward ensuring the rigor of the tenuring process “across all academic units” at our research universities.  The process of applying for tenure and/or promotion typically begins in the candidate’s sixth year of employment.  He or she prepares a detailed tenure and promotion application, including copies of teaching evaluations and publications; in addition, the candidate designates two outside reviewers and his or her department designates two others, who comment on the research record and its impact. If a department’s recommendation to tenure and promote a faculty member is too generous, a strong dean, and/or a strong college personnel committee can overturn that positive recommendation.  On the other hand, if a dean’s recommendation is overly generous, his or her recommendation can be overturned by either the university-wide personnel committee, or by the Provost or President.  Ensuring rigorous tenure standards depends on strong leadership at the chair and dean and provost and even presidential levels. In most of UNLV’s colleges, denials of tenure and promotion, with some regularity, help to establish a climate of academic rigor in departments lagging behind.  Further, a faculty member who achieves a six-year record of excellence is unlikely to become dead wood. Continuing excellence is the positive result of a rigorous tenuring procedure.  Certainly, if a “manager” cannot accurately gauge the quality of a probationary employee’s work after six years, that manager should be replaced.

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