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academic life as tenure and collegial governance. *Direct all correspondence to: James E. Perley, Department of Biology, Mateer Hall, College of Wooster. During my four years of service as President of the AAUP, higher education has been under increasing critical scrutiny and these examinations of the academy. View the profiles of professionals named James Perley on LinkedIn. There are 16 professionals named James Perley, who use LinkedIn to exchange.

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In a small department, you have to work cooperatively because there are so few of you. Discuss it among yourselves and with your local officers.

It’s another thing to really know and work with your peers, according to Thomas Stephensonchairman of the chemistry department at Swarthmore College jakes Pennsylvania. If this statement is adopted as policy, those of us in collective bargaining units may very likely find post-tenure review on the table as we begin negotiations over our next contract, put there by our own national organization.

The issue of accountability in higher education has been a regular source of comment, debate and even angry invective.

Academic critics, like Richard Chait, fan the flames of this controversy with regular attacks on tenure as the protector of incompetence. To help to begin the discussion, I offer a few observations on the report. Overall, there is, again, not enough recognition of the politics that we face. I have had to broaden my interests. I have heard Wilfred Kaplan complain about this at the University of Michigan on more than one occasion, where the review in a grievance is by the very administrator against whose action it was filed.

Now, if you just had a department of 10 [faculty members], it would be impossible to get that money. Strong protests from the floor succeeded in putting off the discussion until copies were distributed to the members.

The Key To Academic Bliss Can Be Found In Large Or Small Departments

Thus, many who are steady research producers and good teachers well might be candidates for jamew review. It is precisely this balanced treatment of challenging issues that has historically given AAUP statements their force within the ajmes — and this Report indeed, shortly after its release, persuaded administrators in Alaska to back away from a wrongheaded proposal on post-tenure review.


That’s going to translate into quite a few courses per year. AAUP practice always calls for accuracy of information and fair debate when alternate views exist, and the membership should have a range of opinion available to them so they may make reasoned judgments on issues of vital importance to the Association and the profession.

Few studies have compared faculty satisfaction in big and small departments. The grievant ought to have access to a grievance procedure that puts the appeal before an independent arbitrator with the power to review the entire perleh, both procedurally and substantively, and to amend or reverse the decision.

There are some authors, like Roger Kimball, or Dinish D’Sousa, who attack the academy as a hotbed of “tenured radicals,” infecting new generations of students with the failed ideas of marxian revolution in America of the halcyon days of s protest.

First of all, the role of the faculty in the process is not spelled out with any jamss. In a small department, would he feel content-or claustrophobic?

In this view, the Woodstock generation grew up or perhaps didn’t to become today’s faculty members and are corrupting our youth. That committee produced the compromise report to be published in Academe. In many cases these procedures would, if adopted, allow for the firing of faculty members without peer review and without access to those due process protections required by the AAUP which had become an essential feature of practice protecting the profession.

No copies of the policy were distributed at the time of the announcement. In response, Committee A appointed a subcommittee of its own members to draft a report on the recommendations for tneure to the entire Committee. Working together, a group of researchers in a given specialty can perleey large grants for their department. Government Printing Office, Like Smith, many researchers enjoy picking up broad ideas from a big group of colleagues.

The Debate over Post-Tenure Review

Content, as it turns out. That’s the invisible college at work. In its most important section, it forcefully concludes that post-tenure review processes, if they are developed, must adhere to AAUP standards and must honor traditional standards of due process and perlfy review. Such a system would hardly meet even minimal standards of peer review. For example, the report states that the post-tenure review program should, “at the least, involve faculty members in their design and implementation.

A subsequent committee was formed with representation from the Roworth Committee and Committee A to consider the differences between the two committees. There is no specification as to how the faculty members who are to perform these tasks are to be chosen.


Still, faculty in big departments typically enjoy more resources than do their small-school peers, from overhead-administrative funds for faculty travel, lab equipment, research assistants, and the like-to outside funding.

The core premise of post-tenure review is that there is a substantial enough minority of prley members who are so incompetent that they need to be dismissed.

James Perley

It takes some grit to single out faculty members for tenure revocation and higher education administrators are not known for their willingness to renure bold action. Informally, researchers agree that differently sized departments offer classic pros and cons. Big departments boast an “economy of tenrue more faculty members there are, the more they share teaching requirements, contribute to budgets, and broaden intellectual input.

They can tell the critics that they are doing something about the situation about which they are concerned and can push off the major responsibility onto the faculty to conduct these new reviews.

George Smith says a department with many faculty promotes “cross-fertilization. Brown is a freelance science writer based in Columbia, Mo. Since such a world does not exist, the AAUP can either continue to remain silent on the phenomenon and therefore not be a part of the debates which are raging and threaten to significantly affect our lives, or we can do our best to help shape emerging developments around our principles.

These commentators would like to hemlock on these decadents, but are prevented, in their view, by the dread institution of tenure. These are incidental matters that are covered by other AAUP policies.

Even when they don’t, small departments generally need faculty to carry heavier course loads than faculty in large departments do.

James Perley | AAUP

Let us know what you think about the report. Some researchers predict that increasing interdisciplinary focus and new technology will make departmental size issues moot. Perley says he enjoys the challenge. It’s one thing to sit in a lecture with dozens of colleagues.