Inside Iowa State
April 4, 1997
Jischke: Promotion and tenure criteria should be broadened
by Linda Charles
Promotion and tenure was the topic as about 90 faculty members gathered in Grinnell March 21-22 for the fifth annual Faculty Conference.
President Martin Jischke attended most of the conference and addressed participants about the "Role of the Land-Grant Mission in the Promotion and Tenure Process."
Jischke said discussion about tenure is not new, but the debate has increased. He noted that few in today's society enjoy the lifetime guarantee of employment that tenured faculty do.
He outlined three basic principles of tenure:
- It does not exist for the benefit of the individual faculty member, but to ensure pursuit of free inquiry for public good.
- Tenure carries certain responsibilities.
- Award of tenure should be carried out in the interest of institutional excellence.
"It is in the public's interest to have faculty who are committed to this institution, truly committed," he said. "In my view, if someone wants that kind of commitment from faculty and individuals, then the institution must reciprocate.
"I think this argues for a system that involves long-term employment agreements that provide certain security," Jischke said. "I believe it is possible to think about alternative arrangements to the tenure system as we know it, that might achieve these positive objectives."
He also said that ISU must ensure that all faculty and students enjoy academic freedom; that there is ongoing account-ability for all faculty, including those who are tenured; that criteria for promotion and tenure should be broadened to reflect the full range of faculty responsibilities; and that continued improvement and change of the university should be facilitated through a systematic program of training and development for all faculty and staff.
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