Concerns, and Consensus
Lilienfeld, Associate Professor of Psychology, Guest Editor
could gauge the health of a university community by how well it
handles the unconventional individuals. Its an unhealthy university
that cant tolerate or deal with those sorts of folks.
John Snarey, Professor of Human Development and Ethics, President
of the Faculty Council
tenure process doesnt have to manage you; you can manage it.
Sandy Jap, Associate Professor of Marketing
in the Medical School
What is it, and
what does it mean?
By Robert Pollack
(To the tune of Señor by Bob Dylan)
Review and the Public
The thorny question of post-tenure review
Mark Bauerlein, Professor of English
Tenure and Research at Emory
A view from the inside
Claire E. Sterk, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health
Conceptions and misconceptions at Emory
Robert McCauley, Professor of Philosophy
a Criterion for Tenure?
Why its not all politics
Ann Hartle, Professor of Philosophy
The Statement of Principles Used
for Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure in Emory College begins with
the principle that teaching, research, and service encompass
the primary activities of the faculty of Emory College. These
activities are essential to the College, and that is
why they constitute the criteria for appointment, promotion, and
tenure. Emorys principle is in accord with the 1940 Statement
of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure issued as a joint statement
of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and
the Association of American Colleges (now the Association of American
Colleges and Universities). The 1940 statement (itself a restatement
of principles set forth in 1925) has served as the standard for
the profession for more than sixty years. That document asserts
a necessary connection between academic freedom and the activities
of teaching and research, and it maintains that tenure is the means
for securing academic freedom in teaching and research.
In recent years, the aaup thought it necessary to address what it
perceived to be an increasing tendency on the part of faculty and
administrators to add collegiality as a fourth criterion for tenure.
In 1999, the association issued a statement, On Collegiality as
a Criterion for Faculty Evaluation, in which it takes a position
against adding collegiality to the traditional criteria of teaching,
scholarship, and service. This statement concludes that the addition
of collegiality is both redundant and dangerous. I agree with these
conclusions, and I will attempt to
set out a more complete argument than the statement provides. In
what follows, I am indebted to Nino Langiullis article, Academic
Freedom, Faculty, and Tenure, in Measure, no. 80 (June/July
The addition of collegiality as a criterion is redundant, according
to the aaup, because collegiality is not a distinct capacity
to be assessed independently of the traditional triumvirate of scholarship,
teaching, and service. It is rather a quality whose value is expressed
in the successful execution of these three functions. As Emorys
first principle rightly states, teaching, research, and service
are the primary activities of the faculty. Collegiality, however,
is not an activity; it is a relationship. Webster defines collegiality
as the relationship of colleagues. Since teaching, research,
and service are the primary activities of the faculty and thus constitute
and define what a faculty is, the faculty member is a colleague
only in the performance of these activities. Collegiality is not
something over and above the performance of the primary activities
of teaching, research, and service.
In evaluating performance in these three areas, we are evaluating
collegiality in the only relevant meaning of that term. In other
words, collegiality, properly
understood, adds nothing to the already established criteria because
collegiality just is the fulfillment of those criteria.
The AAUP regards the addition of collegiality as dangerous because
collegiality may be confused with a constructive attitude
or with displays of deference to administrative or faculty majority
decisions. Such expectations are flatly contrary to elementary
principles of academic freedom, which protect a faculty members
right to dissent from the judgments of colleagues and administrators.
The effect of such a misunderstanding of collegiality would be the
suppression of dissent, debate, and discussion (going along
to get along), a result that is inimical to the vigor and
health of academic institutions.
For these reasons, it is surprising and unfortunate that the definition
of service in the Statement of Principles Used For Appointment,
Promotion, and Tenure in Emory College concludes with the assertion
that the idea of service includes
displaying a collegial spirit of cooperation and avoidance of disruptive
behavior. This confusion of collegiality with congeniality
is precisely what the aaup condemns as contrary to the principles
of academic freedom.
The AAUPs opposition to collegiality as a distinct standard,
then, is based on the effect this would have on the integrity of
faculty governance. Academic freedom and tenure as the condition
for academic freedom exist for the sake of faculty governance. Discussions
of tenure and academic freedom, however, often betray a fundamental
confusion about the meaning of these practices and prerogatives.
Tenure is mistakenly identified with job security. Academic freedom
confused with the right of free speech enjoyed by all citizens and
protected by the First Amendment.
Tenure does indeed guarantee job security, and this is undeniably
a great personal benefit to the individual. But job security cannot
be the reason for the practice of conferring tenure. Tenure has
emerged as a status in only two institutions, the academy and the
judiciary. What can make sense of this? These institutions are such
that the practice of conferring tenure on those who engage in their
constitutive activities is desirable for the attainment of the purpose
of the institutions.
The university exists for the sake of the pursuit of truth within
the disciplines of the liberal arts and sciences. That is what makes
the university different from a school of professional training.
We often lament the fact that so many of our students are narrowly
focused on preparation for a career. If we pursue the logic of that
lament, it reveals an implicit understanding that a university is
distinguished by its foundation in the liberal arts and sciences.
The pursuit of truth must be, by its very nature, free from external
and internal constraint and
interference, especially from the pressures of politics. Hence,
the university must be self-governing. The faculty, which is that
part of the university that engages in its constitutive activities,
must then have principal responsibility for the self-governance
of the institution.
It is here that tenure and academic
freedom come into play. Tenure ensures that external and internal
pressures, especially social and political pressures, can be resisted.
(This is obvious in the case of judicial tenure.) Tenure and academic
freedom are completely unnecessary and could not have emerged in
institutions devoted to career training. Career training programs
are properly subject to social and economic pressures and can be
run efficiently by managers supervising a group of part-time trainers.
There is no question here of the pursuit of truth as there is in
the disciplines of the liberal arts and sciences.
Academic freedom makes sense only in relation to the disciplines
of the liberal arts and sciences. Academic freedom is not the same
as the right of free speech. We acknowledge that distinction when
we acknowledge that no professor, under cover of academic freedom,
has the right to use his classes for anything other than the subject
matter of the course. Academic freedom refers to the rights of inquiry
in a teachers discipline, not to the expression of personal
or political views. For example, we would not find it acceptable
for a biology professor to turn his course into a Bible study or
for a professor of literature to use his lectures to campaign for
a political candidate. We recognize these as abuses. Similarly,
we would resist any attempt to require that same biology professor
to teach the Bible in his courses or that same professor of literature
to endorse a political candidate in his classes.
Academic freedom and tenure exist for the sake of institutional
integrity and for the integrity of the academic disciplines. We
jeopardize and even destroy that integrity when tenure decisions
are made on the basis of considerations that are not academic. Adding
collegiality as a fourth criterion for tenure is a sign of the increasing
politicization of the academy, a corruption that is evident in such
policies as speech codes and the enforcement of politically correct
attitudes and behavior.
Now some may find this account of the university and this defense
of its traditional practices to be restrictive and outdated at best.
Current intellectual trends would have us believe that there is
no such thing as truth and that everything is political.
But, if so, then we have no grounds on which to
justify the prerogatives of tenure and academic freedom that we
hold so dear. And if we permit political considerations to determine
tenure decisions, then we have no grounds for asserting institutional
Editors Note: Professor Hartle is president of the Georgia
chapter of the National Association of Scholars. The NAS has taken
no position on the question of collegiality as a criterion for tenure.