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Truth is Powerful

Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U


Most colleges and universities view education as among the top priorities of their mission. We certainly agree. One of us, Pablo, is a tenured full professor, and the other, Lisa, is a nontenured full teaching professor, and we both count teaching as the most important and rewarding part of our work at a major research and flagship land-grant university.

The fact is that, beyond what appears on a website detailing a vision statement, the actual mission of an institution in practical terms, through all disciplines, is to teach each of our students how to interact with the world as whole human beings. Given that basic and incontrovertible fact, we in higher education need to set institutional priorities that foster the central importance of the mission of teaching. And the most efficient and effective way to do that is to revise our system of faculty recognition and evaluation such that research is no longer the determining element in achieving tenure.

Tenure is ultimately about recognizing a faculty member’s value to the institution. The institution recognizes that value by making a long-term commitment to that faculty member. Tenure means intellectual freedom — freedom that must include the classroom, which, in the current climate, […]

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