By Marion Gil |Staff Writer|
CSU professors receive tenure for reasons that may not be apparent to students despite their role in the process.
Tenure is essentially a permanent contract for teachers and professors, and while it does not include a pay raise it ensures that an educator’s position can not be terminated without “just cause,” which usually means severe misconduct. The popular myth is that educators simply need to work for a certain amount of time to receive tenure, which is not true.
“Pretty much the myth of tenure is that you do a good job,” said CSUSB professor Terri Nelso, “and then you have a job for life. Well, no.”
Professors eligible for tenure are those who have been scouted by the university for a tenure track position, a contract with a limited number of open positions in each department.
Every two years the contract is renewed until the sixth year.
The performance of the professor is evaluated over the course of six years by a committee consisting of many different faculty and staff.
Provost Andrew Bodman and vice president of the university issues factors that result in having the final decision.
The evaluation focuses on a professor’s teaching, research, and service to both the community and students.
“We expect tenured faculty to play a vital role in enhancing the quality of education for CSUSB students,” said Bodman in an e-mail.
“Serving as advisers and mentors, conducting research and supervising internships, working together with students in the field, and providing career and graduate and professional school advice.”
During an educator’s sixth year he or she may apply for tenure.
If denied, the educator enters their “terminal” year which is the renewal of their contract for one final year at the university.
Evaluations of a professor’s performance continue even after they are granted tenure.
While it is more difficult to let go of a professor who has already proven their ability and dedication, there are policies already in place that allow the university to remove a professor despite a permanent contract.
Despite the ongoing belief that tenured educators simply stop caring, many believe that educators do work hard for it and keep the students’ best interests at heart.
“The honest truth is that the faculty work really hard to serve students,” said Daniel Stewart, a full-time lecturer at CSUSB.
“Our doors are open most of the time and I definitely believe that student learning comes first.”
When asked for his opinion on whether or not he believes professors truly earn tenure, CSUSB student Kevin Schaeffer said simply that “they worked hard and they’ve earned it.”
While professors do not work constant stable shifts like high-school teachers, they are constantly studying new teaching methods, serving on committees, and balance other responsibilities that are not apparent to the students, but benefit them in the long run.
Some people will continue to believe that educators will simply abuse tenure, but CSU policies will continue to ensure that only professors with the students’ best intentions in mind receive tenure.
“The best teachers are those who push students towards a better world,” said Ali Miremadi, CSUSB lecturer in Persian, “who teach them how to learn not what to learn, and are happy when they reach a higher level than they.”