Today’s front page story (above the fold) in the Waco Tribune refers to the recent rash of tenure denials at Baylor as a “massacre.” For today’s story and other press on it, go to the following links:
* “Faculty ‘Massacre'” story in Waco Trib [4.3.08]
* Chronicle of Higher Education [4.2.08]
* Denyse O’Leary’s Analysis at UncommonDescent [3.31.08]
* World Magazine Confirms BP Story [3.28.08]
* Baylor Lariat Editorial [3.28.08]
* Baptist Press Interprets Tenure Denials [3.25.08]
* Waco Trib Breaks Story [3.24.08]
* Baylor Tenure Stats for 2008, 2007, and 2006 (see below)
With regard to today’s front page story, two small points deserve exposure. First, from the story:
Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman … wouldn’t discuss whether a form letter is an appropriate response to a faculty candidate’s request for the reason tenure was denied. “How we communicate personnel matters is covered by privacy law,” she said. “It’s not only policy at Baylor but it’s law as well, that employees have a right to privacy and we don’t intend to violate that by discussing privacy matters.”
It is false, to claim that privacy laws cover the university’s own general policy for communicating to faculty. To the contrary, one would expect that a general policy would be quite public. It is only the specific details about the faculty person — if there are such details — that would be covered. To say that the university cannot comment on its own decision to use form letters rather than individual personal letters, because of privacy laws, is ludicrous.
Second, it is also remarkable that Baylor disclaims its own marketing department’s statements on the importance of the research performed by faculty. Where does the marketing department get its recommendations from? Do marketing department people prowl the hallways, independently judging whose research is important and whose is not? Or do they collect recommendations from the administration? Indeed, during my 5 plus years at Baylor, it was clear that the marketing people were taking their cues entirely from the administration.
It is disappointing to see Baylor essentially call its own marketing department ignorant and unreliable.
Tenure Statistics at Baylor
These are the tenure statisics for the last three years.
2008 — 40% denied tenure.
Of 30 considered for tenure in 2008, 12 were denied.
The denied were: Lori Baker, Russ Duren, Randall Jean, [deleted], Myeongwoo Lee, Rene Massengale, David Ryden, Carolyn Skurla, Amanda Sturgill, Margaret Tate, Amy Vail, Robin Wakefield.
Those given tenure were: Chris Bader, Erich Baker, Toten Beard, Kevin Chambliss, Susan Colon, David Coery, Micheal Foley, Phillip Donnelly, Brian Garner, Ian Gravagne, Brian Raines, Qin Sheng, James Stamey, Jo-Ann Tsang, Chris Van Gorder, Doug Weaver, Brett Wilkinson, Lenore Write
Many of those denied tenure were given a unanamous positive vote by the Baylor University Tenure Committee. Only three had negative votes.
2007 — 14% denied tenure.
In 2007, 19 of 22 were awarded tenure. The tenure committee voted unanimously against three candidates. Two were denied tenure. The third had his/her tenure decision postponed one year.
The following 19 were granted tenure. All but three had unanimous votes of the Baylor University Tenure Committee. Of those three, two had very strong positive votes. The third was a split vote heavily against tenure. Nevertheless, tenure was awarded.
Here are those awarded tenure in 2007: Antonios C. Augoustakis, Bryan W. Brooks, Joel S. Burnett, Jann Cosart, James W. Ellor, Tisha L. Emerson, Jan E. Evans, Mary Ann Faucher, George W. Gawrych, Eka Gogichashvili, Douglas V. Henry, Markus Hunziker, Thomas S. Kidd, Jerry M. Long, Rafer S. Lutz, Chris P. Pullig, Robin K. Rogers, Richard R. Russell, Julie A. Sweet
2006 – 11% denied tenure.
There were 28 cases in 2006, of which 25 were awarded tenure. All but one of those awarded tenure was supported unanimously by the Baylor University Tenure Committee. The exception was a three to one negative vote that was overtured and the candidate was given tenure.
Here are those awarded tenure in 2006: Francis Beckwith, Gary Brooks, Gerald V. Cleaver, Matthew C. Cordon, Jeffrey B. Fish, Perry L. Glanzer, Paul A. Hagelstein, Michele L. Henry, Joseph G. Kickasola, Kevin K. Klausmeyer, Beth Anne Lanning, Brian Marks, James Wesley Null, Mark Osler, Mark V. Pomillo, Steven C. Pounders, Jeffrey S. Powers, Keith Sanford, Todd D. Still, Elisabeth M. Umble, Anzhong Wang, Laurel Zeiss
Of the three faculty not awarded tenure, two had nearly unanimous votes against tenure by the Baylor University Tenure Committee. Another had a strong split vote for being awarded tenure, but was denied tenure by the administration.