As provost, [Debasish] Dutta is in a better position than [now-redundant chief diversity officer G. Christine]Taylor to engage deans, department heads and faculty, he said. Elevating the position to the level of provost also will help bring attention to diversity across the campus, he added.Let us draw the curtain of charity over that "another full-time workload."
"I need more faculty involved in diversity," he said. "That is not only good for faculty but good for the institution as a whole. ... I'm convinced that we will make more progress than what we have made in the first five years."
Two provost fellows or Purdue faculty will help him accomplish these goals and manage another full-time workload.
Faculty retirement makes more sense when professors have ways to use time that might otherwise be spent in meetings or filling in the forms that the director of diversity, or the provost, decide are more urgent than keeping current with the research or making the effort to engage the disengaged students who come to Jesus as finals approach. College Insurrection points to Tax Prof quoting two Northwestern professors who probably aren't suggesting that Wall Street Journal readers invest in model railroad suppliers.
Strong tenure protections impose significant costs on higher education. Although these costs were voluntarily created when universities adopted tenure in the first half of the 20th century, they were markedly increased in 1994 when Congress prohibited mandatory retirement for tenured faculty.I found more rolling stock to add to the railroad. Life is good.
Guaranteed employment for life will not promote good teaching or scholarly productivity when incentive pay is limited, and employment for life can be long. Studies on the abolition of mandatory retirement have found that it dramatically reduced faculty retirement rates. In addition, surveys recently carried out by investment firms suggest that three-quarters of faculty plan to teach far beyond normal retirement age or never retire.
Research productivity declines with age and the lack of retirement crowds out younger and more-productive scholars. Worse still, tenure has evolved in a way that makes it very difficult for universities to dismiss those who engage in serious misconduct or face the loss of mental capacity that would force them out of other jobs. Even if tenure had been sensible when mandatory retirement was permitted, it may now need to be rethought.
And the first draft of academic research can go public more rapidly (and perhaps exclusively) these days. Whether "No Irish Need Apply" is common or rare is out of The Oxford Journal of Social History and all over Easily Distracted, where author Timothy Burke invited the middle-school author of the counterexamples to consider Swarthmore after finishing at Sidwell Friends. (Go ahead, throw the privilege cards all over that one.) The author of the paper that provoked the follow-on research, retired Illinois-Chicago historian Richard J. Jensen, is participating in the conversation there, where his "the author raises correct but minor points" objection is getting the scorn it deserves.