TaxProf Blog

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

Sunday, October 29, 2017

University Of Arkansas To Change Tenure Policy To Permit Firing Of Faculty For Lack Of Collegiality

Arkansas LogoChronicle of Higher Education, U. of Arkansas System Considers Changes to Ease Tenured-Faculty Firings:

The University of Arkansas system is considering proposed changes in its tenure policy that could make it easier to fire professors and, faculty members say, chip away at academic freedom.

A key concern, they say, is language in the proposal that outlines when professors may be fired for cause. It includes a "pattern of disruptive conduct or unwillingness to work productively with colleagues." That language, some faculty members say, effectively means collegiality — or the lack thereof — can be used as a reason to dismiss a professor.

Using collegiality as a criterion to evaluate faculty members has long been condemned by the American Association of University Professors.

A spokesman for the university system, Nate Hinkel, said in an email that the proposed changes were part of a broader effort in recent years to update the Board of Trustees’ policies so they align with "current law and best practices." The general counsel’s office drafted the changes in the promotion and tenure policy, and sent them to the system’s campuses in mid-September to get feedback from faculty members and administrators, he wrote. ...

A former law professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock weighed in on the issue on his blog. "In the corporatized university, there is no room for faculty governance and less for freedom of thought," wrote Richard Peltz-Steele, now a professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Law. "Faculty are expected to toe the line and make the widgets. That’s a frightening vision of the university."

Glenn Reynolds (Tennessee):  "Things that will indicate a lack of collegiality: Voting for Trump, an NRA bumpersticker, failing to stand during the Diversity Pledge."

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/10/university-of-arkansas-may-permit-firing-of-tenured-faculty-for-lack-of-collegiality.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

The camel just stuck his whole body into the tent. Lack of collegiality, of course, means having conservative views.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Oct 29, 2017 8:03:20 AM

Is "collegiality" an immutable rule that can be defined at all schools? Or do they words mean whatever the wielder wants them to mean? "Tell me the man and I will find you the crime."

It just shows that the people who run these schools have no honor or ethics and have to lie about what they are up to. Or am I somehow missing the point?

Posted by: aircav65 | Oct 29, 2017 8:35:33 AM

I guess we won't be able to say "thank goodness for Mississippi" any longer.

Posted by: Arkansan | Oct 29, 2017 12:15:38 PM

I may be the only person who opposes collegiality on principle. In theory it would mean, being a decent and kind person. In practice it is an excuse for getting rid of anyone who's not in your clique.

Posted by: mike livingston | Oct 30, 2017 4:11:40 AM

As all you know, the most important part of any legal document is the definitions section. Here is how I suspect "Lack of Collegiality," will be defined: White male.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Oct 30, 2017 6:46:07 AM

this is why corruption is to be avoided. It ends in suicide.

Posted by: Fen | Oct 30, 2017 7:04:23 AM

Isn't "lack of collegiality" an anagram for "I feel threatened"?

Posted by: Owen | Oct 30, 2017 7:15:26 AM

Standing up to the fascist Left on campus and defending individual liberties also sounds like "lack of collegiality" to me, and will probably sound that way to the Supreme Faculty Soviet who will consider revoking tenure.

Posted by: curmudgeoninchief | Oct 30, 2017 9:46:33 AM

This rule change would permit the final steps in the conversion of universities from educational institutions to indoctrination institutions.
Don't worry though. Armageddon is coming.
As we weaken our intellectual accomplishments in favor of "collegiality", we will soon disappear, slaughtered by our own incompetence.

Posted by: william Smith | Oct 30, 2017 10:45:06 AM