College should adopt a form of tenure review

Professors receive a lot of feedback from students and colleagues during the process of attaining tenure. During this time, teaching skills undoubtedly improve as a result of this feedback. We see no reason why this process should not continue after a professor is tenured.

Some professors already administer their own anonymous evaluations either mid-semester or at the end of the semester in order to improve their teaching. We commend this course of self-improvement, but we recommend that the administration implement an official procedure for the review of tenured professors. Reviews should be conducted approximately every four years and should consist of anonymous student evaluations which would only be seen by the individual professors. This suggested tenure review process should be a means by which professors can improve their teaching, and not a step toward repercussions for underperforming faculty. It is unnecessary for the information to be made available to the rest of the department.

Professors should have the freedom to make improvements on their own, and we trust that they value the teaching aspect of their jobs enough to take these evaluations seriously. As it is now professors are not subject to any review after receiving tenure. Professors thus have no obligation or incentives to continue researching or to improve their in-classroom performance.

The College would not be the first institution in higher education to implement a system of tenure review, but it would certainly be able to implement one that would meet its unique needs.

Our faith in our faculty leads us to believe that they will take student evaluations seriously and see them as a way to improve job performance. We also trust that if an official tenure review policy exists, students will also take it seriously and provide professors with critical and creative ideas for improvement.