Chronicle 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."