Higher Education & Law Case Study 2
Using the attached 2 resources,
Write a 700- to 1050-word memorandum paper to the dean pertaining to the following problem.
Oxford College is a four-year liberal arts college at which excellence in both research and teaching are important criteria for promotion and tenure. The faculty are not represented by a union, but there is an active AAUP chapter on campus.
Mary Smith is an untenured assistant professor of political science. She is in her fifth year on the tenure track, and will be evaluated for tenure beginning next month (it is now late June). Unbeknownst to you, although the faculty handbook requires that all nontenured faculty members be evaluated at the end of each academic year, Mary’s department chair has evaluated her twice – once at the end of her first year, and once at the end of the last academic year. In both cases, the written evaluation says that Mary is "making good progress toward tenure" but includes no specific discussion of strengths or weaknesses. Student evaluations of Mary’s teaching have been quite negative. The comments say that, in the sections of Political Science 101 that she teaches, she discusses her personal life at great length, bristles when students express conservative political viewpoints, and required all of her students to write a paper, worth half of the course grade, on "Why Bill Clinton was our Greatest President."
On June 27, the Dean of Arts and Sciences calls you for advice and recommendations. She has just learned from the chair of the Political Science Department that he has received an anonymous letter accusing Mary of plagiarizing her doctoral dissertation. The chair has told the dean that he doesn’t think Mary will receive tenure anyway – her departmental colleagues don’t like her, her student evaluations are poor, and despite the fact that she has published more than anyone else in the department in the past two years, he now wonders whether those publications are suspect as well, and thinks that this would be another reason to deny her tenure.
The faculty handbook states that the tenure review must commence on July 1 of the faculty member’s last probationary year and must be completed by February 1. The handbook has a separate policy addressing allegations of plagiarism that does not involve the department and has no deadlines. The dean and the University’s legal council want your recommendations as to how to proceed.
Would your advice differ depending on whether Oxford College were a public or a private institution?
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