metisophia, You really failed to read the article in anything other then
no detail. It is not "these nutjobs" it is one man proposing the
bill.Personally I think that if universities in Utah were likely to
have to majorly reduce their teaching staffs in the near future Herrod's bill
would make sense. On the other hand, since it only would end future tenure this
issue would take a long time to play out.More entriguing is that a
growing number of universities are filling more and more positions with
part-time and temporary faculty. The percentage of classes taught by tenured
faculty has been falling at many universities over the last few years. Personally I think tenue is actually a less worthwhile thing in
elementary and secondary schools. The importance of protecting
intelectual freedom at the university level would lead me to speculate that
tenure has benefits. At lower levels intelectual freedom is less likely to
become a major issue.Another possible compromise might be to debate
tenue for community college professors.
This is the type of hatchet job I would expect from the Associated Press. There
are many educational theorists who think tenure is a bad idea, but their actions
are not addressed.Also totally ignored, at least in responses to the
article, is that most civil employees in Utah can not just be fired on a whim.
An even more complexed question that no one brings up is even if
Herrod's bill passes it is not clear that public universities will be unable to
grant tenure. They will just not be held to it by as iron-fast rules as they
are now.However the biggest problem with the article is that it
makes it seem like this bill is anything more than just proposed. It is very
easy to propose a bill, Mr. Herrod has shown us that much. However this bill
has not left any committee. It would be hoped that instead of
responding by mocking anyone who dares disagree with the established system of
public higher education, this bill could open up a discussion where we weigh the
pluses and minuses of tenue, and consider if it is a needed thing.
BYU does not grant tenure, and despite the snide, rude, hateful and other
comments that I know are going to follow my remark, BYU has good professors and
is clearly not at the bottom of the barrel because of it.I also have
to say that lots of people do not understand the difference between a bill being
proposed and a bill passing. There is a lot of anti-tenure sentiment in various
locals. For example the cartoon "Pearls Before Swine" engaged in
tenured professors mocking a few months ago.Lastly, I think people
should be more critical in reactions to nationwide stories about "Utah
legislature proposes". These are built around perpetuating the idea that
Utahns are strange, and they ignore the fact that unique, interesting and
restrictive rules exist in other states. There are some Southern states that
have requirements of affirming a belief in God for all public officials.
I think what they should look at is reforming not ending tenure. I would
suggest holding hearings on tenure and asking University administrators to
identify what the problems may be. One underlying problem is that
at research universites there is too often no focus on teaching, and only
research gets evaluated.What is "just cause" and what does
it take to prove it? I wish the author of this article would have asked
Sederburg to illustrate what a case of just cause is. I also wish the author
had asked Sederburg "when was the last time a professor who had tenue was
removed through just cause proceedings"? Beyond this, I wish the reported
had asked Sederburg "what are the possible consequences of a professor
performing poorly on an evaluation?"Sederburg should not be
allowed to mouth platitudes about tenure not being as strong as people thing, he
should have to provide concrete examples.
To DN Subscriber: I have no doubt that you believe what you are saying in your
posting. Here's hoping your children/progeny....disagree.
Why would anyone interested in a career in education come to Utah with such
hostility? Being married to an educator in a local school distict, I can tell
you it is truly a hostile place to work. A little is chipped away every year.
Class sizes creep up a little every few years, the relicensure requirements
become more stringent, the money for supplies decreases every year instead of
keeping up with inflation. Then the people in the state have teh audacity to
keep having more children, getting more in tax exemptions, paying less in taxes,
and complain when the teacher can't spend every waking second with their child
and creating special lesson plans just for their child, and the district expects
teachers to work while off-track (unpaid) to do more standardized testing. And
for that the people in the DN forums just say to suck it up and be grateful you
have a job. At some point the legislature and governor will have an
educational crisis at the primary and college levels that will be incredibly
difficult to rectify.
> In "higher education," it [freedom] connotes only strict,
unbending adherence to Marxist dogma and permanent exemption from honest
work.Your "Marxist dogma" comment is simply false. Your
"honest work" comment is offensive and simply false.
Re: "The students who are currently unable to get into the classes they
need would indeed consider it a bad thing."If the academic
establishment is so concerned about students' needs, why does it refuse to
increase the number of qualified instructors and GAs [who we all know are the
best actual educators in higher education] in order to fill that need?Maybe because it cuts down on the money available to endow memorial
"academic" chairs and extend big pay raises to tenured professors?Yeah -- Big Education's concern for students is legendary.Not!
>Re: "It's already difficult to find qualified people to >fill
faculty positions.">>You say that like it's a bad
thing.The students who are currently unable to get into the classes
they need would indeed consider it a bad thing.
DN Subscriber wrote> The current system certainly fails to promote
"diversity" as shown by the absence of all but a few token
conservatives on campuses.Are you suggesting that tenure should be
revoked so someone can prune the faculty and promote diversity? Wow.A few token conservatives? At Utah universities? I think you should check
that again.> As for "none of the prestigious Harvard people
will want to come to Utah" argument- Is that really a bad thing, or just a
bunch of bruised egos?What about native Utahns who go to Harvard for
grad school and don't want to come back?> Higher education needs
to...present more balanced content, at least if they want public funding. You should hear the Marxist slant my colleagues and I take when teaching
Newton's laws of motion... In other words, what you are saying doesn't not
represent the general reality. Teaching should definitely be
improved--I work at that all the time--but let me point out that universities
don't drain the budget, they are the engine that drives the economy.
Re: "It's already difficult to find qualified people to fill faculty
positions."You say that like it's a bad thing.
Re: "procuradorfiscal"Wow, you know so much?You
listed construction workers, day-care providers, and McDonald's employees - that
is what I told my children would happen to them if they did not graduate from
High School.If you study history, Conservatives will attack the
intellectuals first. Time and time again the best way to control a populace is
by limiting intellectual thought. Every controlling government went after
the professors and teachers.I do not know of a liberal controlling
government, (all controlling governments have been conservative in their basic
thought). That is why they attack the liberal intellectuals!
I'm a professor at one of Utah's public universities. Here are a few facts, for
readers who are lacking them.It's already difficult to find
qualified people to fill faculty positions. Perhaps that's because we get paid
less than faculty at comparable universities in other states. We certainly
don't "teach few classes and do little research".When the
economy is bad, students flock to the colleges and universities, and more
faculty need to be hired. The tendency is not to cut faculty in those times.
But in the present system tenured faculty can be cut if their departments need
to be reduced/eliminated for budgetary reasons.As was mentioned,
tenure is really about academic freedom, and that leads to *progress*. I
suspect that some taxpayers feel the faculty's only responsibility is to pass on
knowledge from one generation to the next. In fact the universities are much
more valuable than that. We know many things our professors didn't know because
of research that is fostered by academic freedom.
Re: "Researchers need tenure to guarantee academic freedom."Yeah, academic freedom, that's the ticket. That'll carry the day with the
construction workers, day-care providers, and McDonald's employees that you
demand must continue to pay your ridiculous salaries!Let's see --
academic freedom -- that would be that misnamed concept of rigid, institutional
orthodoxy that prevents any genuine independent thought, right?The
same concept that prohibits publishing by climate scholars whose papers may be
critical of global warming myths, right? Or that ridicules researchers
attempting to explain the Pons-Fleischman effect? Or that rides economists
daring to differ with stuffed-shirt Keynesians out of universities on a rail?Yeah, we're real worried about maintaining that "educational"
fixture.The term "freedom," in any other context, implies
a lack of coercion or constraint. In "higher education," it connotes
only strict, unbending adherence to Marxist dogma and permanent exemption from
honest work.Academics interested in real freedom have all left
Academe, leaving only the whiners posting here.
USU and the UofU brought more than $500 Million in research funding into the
Utah economy last year. Without the ability to attract top scientists and
scholars, what percentage of that would be lost? (most of it)Talk
about shooting yourselves in the foot. Utah legislators... are they really so
inept that they would kill the goose that laid the golden egg?What
would the Utah economy look like without that money? Our research universities
are a huge benefit to the State.Let's kick them again,
legislature.... Makes sense.
What Herod doesn't realize is that tenure grants an academic researcher or
professor the ability to question long-held presumptions or falsehoods without
the feat of the taxpayers revolting. This is a good thing. And
it's very much like "term-limits" for House and Senate elected
officials -- you don't want to be the first state to implement this, only the
last. It will make Utah a wasteland for the quality professor job market.
This is a good proposal.College costs continue to skyrocket, and
tenured professors often teach few classes, and do little research, but merely
feed at the public trough. We cannot afford that any more.Much of
higher education is infested with liberal hacks who do little more than
indoctrinate students with leftist propaganda. [c.f.- Ayers, William or Obama,
Barack]. The current system certainly fails to promote "diversity" as
shown by the absence of all but a few token conservatives on campuses.As for "none of the prestigious Harvard people will want to come to
Utah" argument- Is that really a bad thing, or just a bunch of bruised
egos? Higher education needs to cut costs, improve quality of the
education the provide to students, and present more balanced content, at least
if they want public funding. Let the private schools hire and keep the Marxists
if they like, but not on my tax dollars.
You know, I would really, really encourage these legislators before they begin
making ridiculous laws, like getting THIS involved in education, to get into the
universities and classrooms and find out what is really going on. I would never
premise to understand how to run a hospital until I actually got in there and
understood the stresses doctors, nurses, and other administrators are under. I
wouldn't feel remotely comfortable making cuts to police, paramedic, and other
departments until I had experience in how these departments needed to be run and
the risks they take. Yet, legislators assume that because they barely know how
to read, they can run the education system. They had better start doing their
homework before the teacher calls on them and they find out they really didn't
have all of the answers.
This "Representative" obviously doesn't even understand the concept of
tenure, much less its purposes, obviously. Researchers need tenure to guarantee
academic freedom. Just as someone mentioned in an earlier post, sometimes the
results of this research is irritating to those in power: politicians,
businesses, lobbyists, and even other professors and university bureaucrats.
Researchers need the freedom to pursue subjects and results which may be
accurate, but unpleasant.@procuradorfiscalI don't even know
where to begin with your post, but I do know where to end: By dismissing it at
ignorance.Tenure produces medical cures, technology advances, and
other quality of life improvements for society as a whole."police, firefighters, paramedics, soldiers, and other public servants
who regularly place their lives on the line for us, and/or who actually do
important, lifesaving work for us."None of these individuals
would be able to save as many lives as they do without the medical and
technological advances that the tenured staff, such as Nobel Laureate Mario
Cappechi, produce at Research I Universities like the University of Utah.
Re: "Who elects these nut jobs?"We do. The people of Utah.
The same people that pay you more than any other category of public servant in
the state.The same people that are mighty sick of listening to your
childish, dismissive rants.The same people that recognize tenured
professors have developed a keen sense of entitlement to double, triple,
quadruple or more, the wages we earn, and from whose pay theirs' is deducted.The same people who recognize that we pay them many times what we pay
police, firefighters, paramedics, soldiers, and other public servants who
regularly place their lives on the line for us, and/or who actually do
important, lifesaving work for us.That's who elects these "nut
jobs" that are beginning to see there is no good reason for maintaining
"higher" education's expensive and unnecessary ivory tower.
One thing is for sure. With this crackdown on intellectuals, Utah will
experience a brain drain at our universities.
Oh, and you would never guess what Mr. Herrod lists on his other possible
conflict of interests section - Fencing. Fencing? The sport fencing? How is
that a possible conflict of interest? The fencing association is requesting
state funds to hold tournaments and training?
A bill written by a person that got his Bachelor's degree from BYU, a private
university, and got his Master's Degree from BYU, a private university. His
knowledge of this subject is extensive! WOW! Let's agree to you, Mr. Herrod, oh
great wise one on public universities!
Wow, so why would ANY professor want to teach in Utah? If there were no tenure
then we would only get the leftovers that no other University with a tenure
track wanted to hire. This is frighteningly short sighted.
not a good idea. are there good and bad professors at our universities? Yes.
with this bill all that will be left is mediocre.
This may be partly about muzzling the faculty. When I was a student at USU in
the 1960s I learned the story of a state legislator who went to the USU vice
president and asked him to silence two professors who had spoken against the
legislator's pet project on the basis of their research expertise. If tenure is
eliminated, professors will have to keep their mouths shut outside the
classroom. They will also be very careful what they say within the classroom.
Who elects these nut jobs?
Take away the ability of Utah's universities to offer tenure-track positions,
and you take away their ability to attract decent professorial talent.
Professors aren't stupid and there are 49 states offering tenure to choose
from.The vast majority of professors are highly competitive
professionally by nature, whether they're tenured or not. This bill sounds like
a solution in search of a problem.
If this gets any national coverage via AP, it'll be Shooting Feral Cats, The
What's not to agree with??"...after professors receive tenure
the taxpayers cannot hold them accountable and the benefits of competition are
removed." TRUE"...when state agencies are trimming
budgets, it is unfair for tenured professors to be exempt from cuts." TRUE
"...all professors should be evaluated for academic success and
teaching skills. That would ensure the best professors are retained." TRUE
AGAIN.Only tenured professors who are enjoying the fruits of tenure,
and feel entitled to them without any accountability--or those designing to be
so tenured as well--will have issues with this.
As a tenured full professor I can see the lawmaker's point of view. He believes
this way because to him all professors are just cut out of same cookie cutters
and can be replaced: one in English with a specialty in grammar, with one in
Biology who knows all about gnomics and DNA and tree frogs. Yup, replace A with
B. Good grief. Where in the world did you go to school?
Wee dont kneed no kwalitee eddicashun heer in Yew-Tah!