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Academic Freedom or Deadwood: Is Tenure Appropriate for Academic Law Librarians? SEAALL Annual Meeting March 26, 2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Freedom or Deadwood: Is Tenure Appropriate for Academic Law Librarians? SEAALL Annual Meeting March 26, 2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Freedom or Deadwood: Is Tenure Appropriate for Academic Law Librarians? SEAALL Annual Meeting March 26, 2004

2 So what if I skip a program to see a game. Thats what being tenured is all about!

3 Hi Grandma & Grandpa. We cant wait to see you. What did you bring for us?

4 Millies Diner 2603 E Main St Phone: (804)

5 Three Questions I Plan to Cover Are academic law librarians entitled to faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should academic law librarians want faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should law libraries and their directors support faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security) for nondirectors?

6 Franks warning label Im no expert and at times I am ambivalent about where I stand on these issues Should you really trust somebody who looks like this?

7 Another warning Research tends to document, not illuminate Most recent article: Status and Tenure for Academic Law Librarians: A Survey by Texas Tech law librarians –About 1/3 of nondirectors in survey had faculty status with or without tenure 96 Law Library Journal (2004)

8 One more warning This is an emotional subject on which people tend to have strong feelings We anticipateand welcomea lively give and take with you this morning

9 Precise Definitions are Hard to Come By [I]t is often recommended that librarians have academic or faculty status. Well, what is academic status? Is it synonymous with faculty status? Is it faculty status less certain benefits such as tenure, nine-month contracts, eligibility for sabbaticals? And what are the responsibilities of one possessing academic status? Is one expected to publish, serve on committees, or what? Dan Freehling, 73 LLJ 888 (1980)

10 Freehling concludes that: [T]erms like academic or faculty status, as applied to librarians, may have meaning only as they are defined at a particular institution. So, if you see these terms used in a job for which you are applying or, indeed, if your present institution is using or contemplating using them, make sure you know exactly what they mean. (emphasis added)

11 ACRL Definition of Tenure [A]n institutional commitment to permanent and continuous employment to be terminated only for adequate cause (for example, incompetence; moral turpitude, retirement for reasons of age, mental or physical disability; bona fide financial exigency) and only after due process. –ACRL Model Statement of Criteria & Procedures for Appointment, Promotion in Academic Rank, & Tenure for College & University Librarians

12 Three Questions I Plan to Cover Are academic law librarians entitled to faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should academic law librarians want faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should law libraries and their directors support faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security) for nondirectors?

13 Academic Freedom The usual argument for tenure is that it promotes academic freedom and that faculty without it face excessive pressure to avoid risky, innovative, or controversial subjects in their research and teaching Tenure provides both a shield against political pressures and the security to try out risky or controversial areas –Jeffrey A. Miron, The Economics of the Tenure System, at (Sept. 24, 2001))

14 Do librarians need academic freedom? That is, do librarians engage in activities in which having a guarantee of academic freedom is important? Consider these situations: –Acquisitions –Budget cuts –Routing –Print vs. electronic resources

15 Is the need for protection real? Having tenure, I dont have to agree that the library should do what is really either not possible nor wise just because some dean or member of the faculty thinks the library should perform in a certain way. For example: Janet Tracy, Professor of Research & Library Services/Law Librarian, Fordham Law School

16 Tracys examples I told the Dean that the library did not have the resources or space to run an independent archive for papers and manuscripts; I also told him that he would be unwise to accept a set of papers which the library could not keep secure. I told a faculty member that the faculty would not be allowed to vote on the retention of librarians on my staff. MORE

17 I told a faculty member that the library did not have the resources to run a staff of student research assistants for the faculty with a staff of 3.5 reference librarians for a student body of and a full-time faculty of 65+. I told a faculty member that he must pass on routed materials to untenured faculty who came after him on the routing list or I would change his routing status to last on the list.

18 Participation in Educational Mission 79 Law Library Journal (1987) AALL Resolution on Faculty or Academic Status

19 ACRL Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College & Univ. Librarians

20 And most important from the Joint Statement... Neither administrative responsibilities nor professional degrees, titles, or skills, per se, qualify members of the academic community for faculty status. The function of the librarian as participant in the processes of teaching and research is the essential criterion of faculty status. (emphasis added)

21 CONCLUSION TO QUESTION 1: Given the need for academic freedom and the librarians significant and essential contribution to the educational mission of the law school, librarians are entitled to faculty status with tenure

22 Three Questions I Plan to Cover Are academic law librarians entitled to faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should academic law librarians want faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should law libraries and their directors support faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security) for nondirectors?

23 How do we answer this question? By asking: do the benefits outweigh the costs? Or, what does faculty status with tenure provide that the alternative employment at will or on an annual contractdoes not?

24 Whats at stake: JOB SECURITY Drat those tenured professors !

25 Whats at stake: JOB SECURITY

26

27 Whats at stake: FULL FACULTY RIGHTS Faculty status entails for librarians the same rights and responsibilities as for other members of the faculty. They should have corresponding entitlement to rank, promotion, tenure, compensation, leaves, and research funds. –From ACRL Joint Statement on Faculty Status [S]ince faculty or academic status entails for law librarians rights and responsibilities similar to those of other members of the faculty, they should have proportional entitlement to promotion, compensation, leaves, and travel funds.... –From AALL Resolution on Faculty or Academic Status

28 What might this mean for librarians with faculty status? They ought to have equal opportunity for... Tenure or comparable form of job security Promotion through peer review faculty governance rights such as attending faculty meetings, voting, serving on committees & faculty senate, etc. MORE

29 more faculty rights... sabbatical and research leaves research support, including on-the-job release time professional development support faculty-only institutional benefits (e.g., tuition remission) higher compensation

30 Is faculty status for librarians a hollow victory Unfortunately, librarians are not always accorded full faculty benefits even when given tenure-track faculty positions Particularly a problem when this failure endangers their ability to meet the responsibilities side of the faculty status equation

31 Findings of Benedict Study Study determined that the librarians who were most likely to be unhappy with their faculty status were those without adequate support CONCLUSION: [L]ibrarians who are expected to research, publish, participate in college or university governance, and take active roles in professional organizations must be allotted adequate time and other resources to meet these professional requirements. –Marjorie A. Benedict, Librarians Satisfaction with Faculty Status, 52 Coll. & Res. Libr. 538, 547 (1991)

32 Whats at stake: STATURE & IMAGE VS.

33 Freehlings comment on status

34 Increased stature lets librarians do a better job because... they are taken more seriously by faculty and students feeling of self-worth increases morale and consequently their desire to contribute further to the educational process

35 CONCLUSION to Question 2: Given the benefits of job security, faculty rights, and increased stature and image, librarians should want faculty status with tenure

36 Three Questions I Plan to Cover Are academic law librarians entitled to faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should academic law librarians want faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security)? Should law libraries and their directors support faculty status with tenure (or a comparable form of job security) for nondirectors?

37 Are tenured faculty deadwood? There is little doubt that tenure sometimes protects the incompetent.... But dont punish everyone for the inadequacies of a small percentage. –Fred Hill & Robert Hauptman, Faculty Status for Librarians? A Response, 55 C&RL News 26 (1994)

38 Is post tenure performance really a problem? For most, faculty status and tenure imparts a buy-in to the importance of the educational mission that combats any tendency to slack off It is more than job, its a lifetime commitment Misunderstanding a voic from the dean, Prof. Fogelfroe organizes his colleges first Post Tenure Revue.

39 Trend toward less tenure-track positions [T]he number of non-tenure-track professors who work full time almost doubled between 1975 and 1995, while the number of full-time professors on the tenure track fell by 12 per cent. –Robin Wilson, Contracts Replace the Tenure System for a Growing Number of Professors, Chron. Higher Educ., June 12, 1998, at A12 (reporting data analyzed by Amer. Assn of Univ. Professors)

40 Why Support Librarian Tenure? RECRUITMENT & RETENTION What can be used to attract new members of the profession?

41 Colleges and universities, including law schools,... have to compete not only with each other but also with private industry to hire highly educated and highly skilled people. Few highly qualified thirty- somethings will accept the low pay and low status of a non-tenure-track contract position, with its lack of security and academic freedom. –Marina Angel, The Glass Ceiling for Women in Legal Education, 50 J. Legal Educ. 1, 15 (2000) (emphasis added).

42 The correct view of the tenure contract is that universities get high-priced talent at a low monetary price; they pay instead by providing job security. –Jeffrey A. Miron, The Economics of the Tenure System, at enure.html (Sept. 24, 2001).

43 Why Support Librarian Tenure? BETTER EVALUATION The critical advantage of the tenure system is that it raises the cost of being lax in renewal decisions: if you fail to fire marginal candidates, you are stuck with them forever. Thus, under the tenure system, both faculty and university administrations impose a real hurdle for earning tenure, rather than routinely concluding that theres no great harm in keeping Professor X for just a few more years. –Jeffrey A. Miron, The Economics of the Tenure System, at ml (Sept. 24, 2001).

44 CONCLUSION TO Question 3: Given that most tenured faculty do not become deadwood, that tenure can help recruitment in a highly competitive environment, and that tenure forces more rigorous evaluation to avoid bad decisions that can last a lifetime, libraries and directors should support tenure for librarians


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