Monday, September 01, 2008

Post Tenure Review

A friend on my faculty alerted me to this article, Post Tenure Review as If It Mattered, by Jayne B. Barnard. I do not agree with some portions of it but the importance of its subject matter and the common sense appeal of many of its proposals should not be overlooked. On MoneyLaw we write about hiring, tenure decisions, rankings and, to some extent ideals. There is not much on post tenure review. If I were to identify one area in which law school shareholder interests are given short shrift, post tenure review would be it. Professor Barnard gets into the nitty-gritty of what it would mean to have meaningful post tenure review.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a bad idea. I once had a stranger idea -- but I still think it would work: Post-retirement review.

When someone retires, the faculty can gather, convene committees, and do a full career review that resembles a tenure review. Given that tenure can at best be a prediction based on a brief try out period, the question for the faculty would be: was the grant of tenure correct, given the full information we now have? Was the person a stellar teacher? A good scholar? As good as we believed at the time of tenure? Or did the school waste its resources over 30 years? Results could, perhaps, be given in letter grades: A (the person was a star), B (not a bad career), C (average performance, nothing to write home about, but contributed something to the institution), D (the appointment was not worth it), F (a disaster), F- (for Jim's worst faculty member in the world).

I think that this might motivate people! After all, it's a grade on your entire career. But if you wanted a bit more of a kicker, how about adding pension funds to those who do really well (or taking some away from those who do poorly, if it were legal to do so.)

And yes, I can even envision negotations. Deans may get people to retire early in exchange for, say, a Gentleman's C.

Just thinking out loud.

9/01/2008 6:07 PM  
Blogger Ani Onomous said...

anonymous,

I think yours is a creative idea, but that it would work out terribly, just terribly. Probably most would turn into a festschrift -- who has the heart to kick an old colleague to the curb? -- that would produce misleading information about how to lead a successful career. The negative ones would throw more good money after bad. In fact, the whole thing would suck up time better spent on quality recruiting, tenure and promotion, or post-tenure review. And this before we add the deceit involved in the "negotiations," in which the less financially secure tend to get the shaft, and the well-off chairholders buy their way into the rosy glow of history.

This reaction brought to you by the page-of-personnel-history-is-worth-less-than-a-volume-of-puffery society.

9/01/2008 11:54 PM  
Blogger Mr. B. said...

It's Professor Jayne B. and this is a great article...

9/02/2008 5:09 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

great article, found it very very interesting to read

9/14/2008 1:53 AM  

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