Update: The Senate passed a revised version of motion 12a on a unanimous voice vote today. Frank diplomatically withdrew motion 12b, allowing the admin to maintain the cherished fiction that their efforts to hide tenure decisions had nothing to do with VP Martinez.
1/13/2010: Frank’s Senate motions are needed to codify what was once a collegial procedure where the faculty in the form of the FPC gave advice to the Provost on who should get tenure and why, and the Provost in turn explained his final decisions to the faculty who had advised him. As near as we can tell – and some of this is speculation – this process worked fine until last year, when Provost James (Jim) Bean decided he wanted to give tenure to OIED Vice Provost Charles Martinez for shady administrative reasons. We’ve tried to find out details on this – like when Charles was actually put on a tenure track – but Melinda is trying to charge us to see the paperwork.
Jim really, really didn’t want to have to tell the FPC what he was doing. So he put Charles up for tenure at the last minute and then changed the rules on the FPC, and that’s why we are all wasting our time on this. Thanks Jim – and thanks to Frank for working to fix this nonsense!
In the interest of expediting discussion of motions 12A
and B at the 13 January meeting, here is a brief description of the
need for the Motions.
Our University enjoys a generally good procedure for deciding
matters of promotion and tenure. Committees at Department and College
levels collect and evaluate documentation of each Candidate’s record
of research, teaching, and service, and forward recommendations to the
Chair or the Dean, respectively. These materials, along with the
recommendations of the Chair and Dean are forwarded to the FPC, whose
job is to evaluate the materials and make recommendations to the
The Provost reaches decisions based on his/her evaluation of the
documents and the recommendations of the FPC, and then composes
decision letters for delivery to the Candidates. For decades, until
this past year, these letters were shared with the FPC Chair. This
sharing provided assurance that the Provost was making decisions in
the best interests of the University’s academic program.
Decisions that compromise those interests could arise under several
conditions. For instance, a Provost could grant tenure on the grounds
that a candidate fills certain University needs that are unrelated to
the academic program. Or a Provost could deny tenure on the grounds
that the candidate, although bright and productive, might project an
unfavorable image to the public. Or simple budgetary problems could
lead a Provost to cut the work force by denying tenure.
The sharing of letters with the FPC Chair provides the
historically sanctified route for protecting the University from such
problematic actions. It also recognizes the hard work and sacrifice
made by members of the FPC, one of the most demanding of the
Franklin W. Stahl