North Dakota moves to weaken tenure protections
- A new policy approved by the North Dakota Board of Education will allow leaders at the state's public institutions to dismiss tenured faculty members with just three months of advance notice, cutting the previous dismissal warning period by nine months.
- Board members say that the change, spurred by revenue reductions in oil and crop industries, will allow greater latitude for institutions to adjust salaries in conjunction with programs that are cut, but that institutions will be able to dictate their own termination notice schedules.
- The initiative has a clause which dissolves the rule in 2019, but critics of the program say it could disrupt the capacity for schools to attract teaching talent.
College leaders are receiving increased power to limit tenure and promotion protections due to budget shortfalls, with states like Wisconsin and Iowa aggressively pursuing legislative action to trim costs associated with service in teaching. For executives, the key to managing these cuts and the ability to recruit star professors comes down to transparency about the state's financial picture and its role in determining institutional budgets.
Presidents are better suited from media relations and faculty governance perspectives by being open with professors on how their careers or their research and teaching resources may be impacted by decisions outside of campus, before changes are actually implemented. This gives them confidence in leadership and breeds loyalty to leaders whom they believe to be open and concerned about the academic enterprise and individual well-being.
- The Bismarck Tribune Higher education board approves change in tenure policy
- Education Dive Post-tenure review proposals threaten what's left of tenure protection in Wisconsin