Will the budget crisis affect tenure decisions?

There is something President Genshaft did not mention in her webcast Friday that I know is on the minds of many tenure-track faculty who have e-mailed me, talked with their chairs, and thought about their futures: tenure criteria. I have talked with several associate deans and with the Provost and Senior Vice Provost, and I am confident that tenure decisions next year will be made in the same way that they have been for the last several years. I have said the same thing to every tenure-track faculty member who has asked: it is in no administrator’s interest to change how tenure decisions are made because of budget cuts. Every administrator I have spoken with agrees with me on this as a matter of principle, and as the president of the faculty union chapter on campus, I will take immediate steps if I see any signs that the tenure gateway is becoming a place to address budget cuts.

For those who are coming up for tenure this fall, the United Faculty of Florida is holding tenure workshops this week in Tampa and will schedule additional workshops in Tampa and on the regional campuses later this spring. To get classroom space in the middle of the week, we had to schedule the workshops beginning at 8 am. Despite the early hour, I hope to see many of you there. These workshops are for members of the United Faculty of Florida–if you are not currently a member, you can sign up at the beginning of the workshop. More information is available at http://faculty.ourusf.org/2008/02/19/tenure-workshops-march-3-4-and-5-tampa/.

I know that everyone at USF is affected by budget anxiety fatigue. If you are coming to one of the tenure workshops next week, we can certainly talk about it, and I encourage you to e-mail me (sherman@ourusf.org) if you have questions.


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