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Chair, Personnel Committee #1

Teresa Thomas: Case #2

Characterization of Institution

Research I University

Characterization of Department

Ph.D. granted in English
M.A .granted in English
B.A. granted in English

How would this case turn out in your department?  At your university/college?

I think that the department would grant tenure to Teresa.  (The College response may follow the same that you present in the scenario.)  She obviously is productive within her area of specialization.  Not only that, she has performed productively in the three key areas assessed: teaching, research, publication--even though online.  Whether some adminsitrative personnel and faculty are ready for online publications or not, they are fighting a losing battle.  That should be a very plain and clear message to academia; the world has already contracted Web-mania, including colleges and universities.  The Web is the present and the future! (Duh-h-h-h)  Even for the College of Arts and Letters here at MSU, we realize that money talks.  Teresa has done very well with the grant writing and funding, using students to help conduct research and bringing computers to the campus for a lab (even though I do not know how many computers she purchased for the research).  She gets "superior" teaching evaluations from both undergrads and grads, which some people still aspire to do!  She was a vehicle to bring distinction to the dept.'s electronic media, which she accomplished in part.

What are the Department Chair's responsibilities toward Thomas? Which did she/he fulfill?  Fail?

The dept. Head must remain abreast of the reasons Thomas was hired.  I think the Head failed to support Thomas the first-time around, standing up for the technological advancements that Thomas was to bring to the dept.

What are the Personnel Committee's responsibilities toward Thomas?  Which  did they fulfill?  Fail?

The Personnel Committee is responsible for ensuring that adequate and appropriate mentoring has occurred and must take additional steps to protect and help Thomas successfully get tenure, even though her case is unique.  The Committee fulfilled a portion of its responsibilities, yet seems reticent to explore and break new ground for publication possibilities, especially in the dawning of a new age of technology

What are the responsibilities of the Dean?  Which did she/he fulfill?  Fail?

The Dean must be abreast of situations such as this one that have actually taken place at other universities/colleges throughout the U.S.  She must explore the other cases (assuming they do exist) and observe resolutions/solutions taken.  After an extensive and thoughtful review,  the Dean should make an appropriate decision.  A full disclosure and understanding of the case at hand is requisite, of course.

What are Thomas's responsibilities?  Which did she fulfill?  Fail?

Thomas must recognize that she will need to publish some work in print.  We have not become totally a Web-based society, especially as it pertains to academia.

What went wrong?  What went right?

See above.

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