Alan Moore

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie is working to eliminate the seniority aspect of tenure in his financially strapped state.

He wants to make performance more of a deciding factor when considering whether to keep teachers employed.

This is perhaps the most common-sense educational reform proposal in the country and Virginia should seek to adopt these measures as well.

The inherent problem with the tenure system is that oftentimes when professors gain tenure they feel as if they don’t have to work hard anymore.

It’s just a normal human condition. For example, when a professional athlete who gets the contract of his life might then underperform because he feels like he has nothing left to achieve. Albert Haynesworth, anyone?

If colleges and universities are to be successful and cost-efficient they need to be run like a business.

Professors should be consistently competing with their peers so the best rise to the top.

Under the tenure system at George Mason University, a tenured professor may be fired if the Board of Visitors declare a state of financial exigency and only after the dismissal of part-time faculty and faculty on fixed-term appointments.

In other words, they’re the last on the chopping block whether they’re any good or not.

If someone with less seniority is more qualified or does a significantly better job than a tenured faculty member, he should keep his job instead.
The only thing that matters is having the best, most-qualified employee in a given position.

A tenured faculty member may also be fired for inappropriate personal conduct.

The accused must stand before a hearing committee of his peers as assigned by the faculty senate.

Can you imagine being in a job where you couldn’t be fired unless your fellow employees agreed to it?

In either case there are layers upon layers of red tape that the Mason administration must go through to remove a tenured professor.

With such an apparently tight ship you would think there is some concrete procedure to judge the work of a tenured faculty, but there is not.
What do you do if they fail to perform at a high level?

What if they do just enough to get by and adjuncts put them to shame with their work habits?

You could go through the hearing process but at the end of the day it would rely on a judgment call by your fellow employees on what is good work.
Put in practice, this probably never happens.

After all, how cold-hearted would your peers have to be to banish you to a life in the real world?

To cast you down from the ivory towers of higher education like Lucifer falling from heaven?

The Mason campus is filled with haughty, tenured professors who spend more time promoting themselves than helping students reach their academic goals.

It’s time this state followed the lead of New Jersey and worked to banish this tenure system once and for all.