"Among the weblogs, the best coverage of the Churchill controversy has been in View from a Height..." -Dave Kopel, Rocky Mountain News

"In Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Blogs is covering the hot GOP primary between beer magnate Pete Coors and former Rep. Bob Schaffer with a great deal more insight than the Denver newspapers." -John Fund, OpinionJournal.com

"The Rocky Mountain Alliance offers the best of what the blogosphere has to offer." -David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Joshua Sharf

 notify list
to receive email when this site is updated, enter your email address:
 recent posts
Blogging 26 entries
Book Review 9 entries
Business 96 entries
China 2 entries
Colorado Politics 55 entries
Decision 2008 1 entries
Finance 6 entries
Flying 3 entries
General 83 entries
Higher Ed 28 entries
History 2 entries
History 2 entries
Israel 15 entries
Jewish 15 entries
Judicial Nomination 3 entries
Media Bias 5 entries
Movies 6 entries
Road Trip 5 entries
Social Investing 1 entries
Vote Fraud 7 entries
War on Terror 64 entries
Rocky Mtn. Alliance
Exultate Justi
American Kestrel
The Mangled Cat
Clay Calhoun
Mt. Virtus
My Damascus Road
Best Destiny
Thinking Right
The Daily Blogster

Friends of the Alliance
Bill Hobbs
Mile High Delphi
Flight Pundit
One Destination
Conservative Eyes
The Virginian Reporter
A Time for Choosing

other blogs
Oh, That Liberal Media
Girl In Right
One Big Swede
American Thinker
Meryl Yourish
NRO Corner
Little Green Footballs
No Left Turns
A Constrained Vision

business blogs
Carnival of the Capitalists
Cold Springs Shops
Commodity Trader
Coyote Blog
Different River
Fast Company Blog
Financial Rounds
Freakonomics Blog
Management Craft
Trader Mike
Carnival of the Capitalists Submission

business data
Inst. Supply Mgmt.
St. Louis Fed Economic Data
Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research
Economic Calendar
Stock Charts
colorado blogs
Boker Tov, Boulder
Colorado Pols
Jeff Sherman

<-?Colorado BlogRing#->

sites, not blogs
Thinking Rock Press
 help israel
Israel Travel Ministry
Friends of the IDF
Volunteers for Israel
Magen David Adom
 1939 World's Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair
The New York World's Fair: 1939-1940
The Last Great Fair by Jeffrey Hart
Iconography of Hope (U.Va.)
Images From the '39 Fair
 google ads
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64

February 08, 2005

The AAUP on Tenure

Both tenure and the exclusion of extramural statements appear to have gone through mission creep of a sort, with the AAUP becoming both progressively more strident in defense of professors' privileges. Such a development isn't unique: trial lawyers give hundreds of millions of dollars ever elections cycle in order to preserve the Right to Sue as We Know It.

Kudos to the Greeley Tribune ("Challenge the Value of Tenure") for looking into the sources and roots of tenure as we know it. While professors may look nervously at that cup of hemlock every time the tenure system is questioned, in fact the current system has its basis in a 1940 American Association of University Professors Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, itself a restatement of a 1925 Statement:

College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution

Which leads to this interpretation in the same document:

If the administration of a college or university feels that a teacher has not observed the admonitions of paragraph (c) of the section on Academic Freedom and believes that the extramural utterances of the teacher have been such as to raise grave doubts concerning the teacherís fitness for his or her position, it may proceed to file charges under paragraph 4 of the section on Academic Tenure.

Clearly, extramural

By 1964, Committee A (on Academic Freedom) had this to say about extramural utterances:

The controlling principle is that a faculty memberís expression of opinion as a citizen cannot constitute grounds for dismissal unless it clearly demonstrates the faculty memberís unfitness for his or her position. Extramural utterances rarely bear upon the faculty memberís fitness for the position. Moreover, a final decision should take into account the faculty memberís entire record as a teacher and scholar."

So, in 24 years, "grave doubts about" has become "clearly demonstrates." Now, the AAUP has issued its own statement about Mr. Churchill:

Should serious questions arise about Professor Churchillís fitness to continue at the University of Coloradoóthe only acceptable basis for terminating a continuing or tenured faculty appointmentóthose questions should be judged by a faculty committee that affords the essential safeguards of due process, as required by the universityís and the Board of Regentsí official policies.

Far enough, except that the context and wording appear to suggest that external statements can't themselves be the source of such concern - clear contrary to the plain meaning of academic freedom in the above-cited docs.

Clearly, both the 1940 Statement and the 1970 Interpretations clearly contemplate the notion that a professor's extramural statements can be used as evidence of unfitness to teach. If such statements were always exempt from scrutiny, neither section (c), nor Paragraph 3, nor the subsequent statement from 1970 would have been included. Instead, they would have been silent on the matter, or they would have included a statement specifically excluding extramural statements from consideration.

I'm sure there's a tremendous amount of case law, or the academic procedural equivalent thereof, that I just don't have time to troll through right now. My uninformed guess is that most of it comes down on the side of leniency. But it's also clear that the AAUP, like any organization, has defended and extended its privileges, and a re-examination is long past due.

Posted by joshuasharf at February 8, 2005 06:46 AM | TrackBack

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Balanced Scorecard for Public-Sector Organizations

The Balanced Scorecard for Government & Non-Profits

The Balanced Scorecard: Measures that Drive Performance

The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

US Policy in Post-Saddam Iraq

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud