What takes precedence: tenure or institutional reputation?

February 26, 2016

Looking back on this year’s Mount St Mary’s University controversies, Laura McKenna of The Atlantic comments on how these were seen “as part of an increasing inclination among administrators at colleges around the country to dismiss faculty members, even those with tenure, who are perceived to be damaging the reputation of a college.” University decision making, in the words of FIRE Vice President of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley, has become about minimizing risk. The prevalence of US professors having their tenure reportedly overridden for the sake of an institution’s reputation, according to McKenna, contradicts the fact that “the university is … a place where people search for truth and air provocative ideas,” which is why the institutions offer tenure in the first place. The Atlantic