Enlargephoto illustration by: Todd Wiseman
When Chancellor Bruce Leslie implemented a new progressive discipline procedure for tenured faculty at San Antonio’s Alamo Colleges in August, it was not well received.
Among the unacceptable behavior listed: “loitering and loafing during work hours” and “disrespectful attitude towards a supervisor such as back-talk or ‘grumbling.’”
“I hate to say this,” said Dawn Elmore-McCrary, an English professor at San Antonio College and chairwoman of the faculty senate, “but there was some grumbling about the language.”
Faculty did not disagree with the sentiment that they should be held accountable, Elmore-McCrary insisted. Department chairs had been asking for a discipline policy for tenured faculty some time. It was the tone they found demeaning. “It sounded like you were dealing with people you didn’t consider to be on the same level as yourself professionally,” she said.
There has been much hand-wringing across Texas about changes being considered at the state’s flagship four-year institutions in response to a public perception that college and university faculty need to be more productive. Tuition at public institutions around the state has risen, and students are amassing significant debt. Yet graduation rates in the state remain low, causing some students, parents and the politicians who represent them — and control the state’s higher ed funding — to wonder if they’re getting their money’s worth from the faculty. Read More