Thursday, November 30, 2006

Daniel Pipes: The outsiders role in academic hirings

A couple of days ago Daniel Pipes published a column that led off with this question:

Should outsiders try to influence the hiring or tenuring of university faculty?

Well, you shouldn't be surprised that academics believe that outsiders should have no role in hiring or tenure decisions.

Here's what Pipes thinks:

I beg to differ. Educational institutions may appoint whomever they wish, but they cannot expect immunity from public criticism. Precisely because academe offers unique job security, public evaluation of untenured academics has a potentially vital role. The more pre-tenure scrutiny, the better. Organizations like Campus Watch focus precisely on those areas that tenure committees typically miss.

As for tenured faculty, robust public criticism can keep them in line by embarrassing them and hurting their credibility. Juan Cole characterizes senior professors as "sort of like baseball players" whom other teams look at "from time to time, as recruitment prospects." In response, Martin Kramer of the Shalem Center notes that "We don't put baseball players on pedestals, and a whole section of the newspaper relentlessly criticizes their performance. Academics want to have it both ways: lifetime job security, sports-like celebrity, lots of vacation time, and no accountability."

Hat tip to Dr. Steven Plaut for this story.

Technorati tags:

No comments: