TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Should Faculty be Fingerprinted Every Day, to Ensure They Are Working?

FingerprintInside Higher Ed, Roll Call:

A growing number of colleges are choosing to fingerprint new employee hires, including faculty members. But what about being fingerprinted every day, to make sure professors are on the job? That could be the new reality for faculty members in the City Colleges of Chicago system, and they are speaking out against the possibility.

“We say No: Our dignity and our rights have no price,” reads an open letter written by faculty union leaders and published Wednesday on the American Association of University Professors’ Academe blog and elsewhere. “We seek the support of our students, their families, and every citizen of Illinois who understands the severity of this violation of our privacy.”

Faculty, who call the fingerprinting plan impractical and unethical, also plan on protesting today at the system’s Board of Trustees meeting. ...

“It seems very Orwellian,” said Maria Jaskot-Inclan, a professor speech and theater at Wilbur Wright College and a member of its Faculty Council. She said the body has denounced the fingerprinting policy formally in meetings. “A lot of us going into education because we’re ethical and we want to serve, and a lot of us have a higher system of ethics. So it’s a shame that we have to be approached [in this way].” Moreover, she said, it’s quite obvious when a professor misses class. “The students will just scream,” she joked.

Legal Education | Permalink


See Robin Wilson, It’s 10 a.m. Do You Know Where Your Professors Are?, Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 2, 2001, at A10, A11: “[P]eople in his department [at BU] joke about colleagues who are never around: ‘There was a sighting today!’”

Posted by: Erik Jensen | Dec 12, 2013 12:51:27 PM

The administration could have used an old-fashioned time clock already--- what do they say has changed to now require hours to be monitored?

Posted by: Eric Rasmusen | Dec 12, 2013 1:12:51 PM

Are they serious? All that fingerprinting MIGHT prove is that a faculty member is in a particular place. It doesn't prove they are working. Stupidity must be like myopia, a dominant gene spreading through the population,

Posted by: James Edward Maule | Dec 12, 2013 1:32:08 PM

Can we not say that most businesses are probably at first more concerned with the employee merely being physically present as opposed to working? The mandatory 8 hour work day is not prefaced on actually having 8 hours of work to do per day, but on the amount of time the business wants to see you at its location willing and able to work.

Posted by: Daniel Waters | Dec 12, 2013 1:51:14 PM

Fingerprinting is basically no more Orwellian than a time clock (it is telling that those who know these profs best, know they can't trust them - that's why a time clock won't work - they will *cheat* on behalf of one another by punching their time cards).

This is what decades of hugely subsidized sectors (like higher education) gets you - loud, entitled legions of God's special snowflakes, who are *never* to be held to *any* account - the way mere, non-subsidized mortals are - every day.

Just the usual Higher Ed B*llshit.

Posted by: cas127 | Dec 12, 2013 4:37:58 PM

By this token, Paul Caron would lose his job, because he gets invited to give papers and go to conferences instead of hanging around to be fingerprinted

Posted by: michael livingston | Dec 14, 2013 2:32:02 AM