Comments by the University of Michigan's Presdient and Provost on Post-Tenure Review

The following comments come from the approved SACUA Minutes of January 12, 1998:

Discussion with Provost Cantor

Chair D'Alecy invited the Provost to articulate her position on post-tenure review of faculty. Provost Cantor said that no school or college at Michigan to her knowledge has any review that puts tenure on the table. She said that every unit has performance reviews that come in the form of salary, promotion, and program reviews. Professor Ensminger commented that it would be better to talk about performance reviews only and to drop the other term. Cantor replied that she has never used the term "post- tenure review" and that no dean has brought it up with her. She said that if anyone hears it raised, they should let her know. She said there was no official communication using the term of which she was aware.

Discussion with President Bollinger

President Bollinger stated that he was against post tenure review of faculty. He said that his view is that we have tenure and that he believes in it strongly. He said that in the tenure system there is a built-in rigorous reviews at annual and other intervals. He said that any existence of post tenure review implies there is not already rigorous review. He said that he believes there is rigorous review within the tenure system, and that tenure is critical to education system as we know it.

Professor Deskins said that it was good to hear such a strong and definite statement from the President because at other universities it sounds like tenure is on the table, harkening to a corporate model. President Bollinger replied that he had never asked an economist to model it, but that he guessed that if tenure were removed, the cost of education would skyrocket. He said that if he were a young person contemplating a career in education that was specialized, time-consuming, but subject to political interference and the prospect of losing a job with little prospect of reinstatement, he would have to seek a huge lifetime income to assume the risks

Comments by Lee Bollinger at the 10/27/97 Senate Assembly Meeting on Post Tenure Review

First of all I have spoken out publicly in favor of tenure. I have a variety of reasons for this position. It was my sense as a faculty member that we've always had post tenure review. I certainly felt, as a faculty member, that I was under review and never felt for a minute that if I decided I'd rather not publish or rather not teach my classes, or did not do either of these very well, that I could make that choice without facing the consequences.

My absolutely strong position on this is that absolutely we should have post tenure review. Absolutely we have and have had post tenure review and absolutely the kinds of post tenure review being proposed are meaningless and add nothing to it and probably are generated frequently by anti-intellectual motivation more than by any real desire for review.

I also believe strongly in respect for internal development of values within the University and for enforcement of these values. The outside view should be you're autonomous, you can't do anything you want, but, provided you show good sense and have processes and internal values showing your sense of integrity is alive and well that is the end of the inquiry. My view is that our processes are our internal values are alive and well.

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