Unsolicited advice for my USG colleagues: I think how we talk about this tenure debacle matters, especially for conversations with people outside of academia. Tenure is not being eliminated. What is being significantly undermined are the protections afforded by tenure.
Short version: tenure will still exist, but our existing policies for post tenure review are being radically changed, making it easier to fire faculty for capricious or political reasons, with existing due process protections undermined or eliminated.
Issue: Tenure is meaningful & important as a foundation for academic freedom, & it is currently industry standard within academia. Whether people support tenure as it currently exists or not, it can’t be disputed that it is strong & protected at top ranked universities.
So I think the important point to make is that this policy change will (perhaps irreparably) harm our reputation & our ability to recruit and retain top faculty- who bring scientific and artistic innovation to our state, who teach our students, who bolster our economy.
Arguments & defenses of tenure have their place & time, but even for someone who will never agree that tenure should exist, the harm this will cause our institutions is undeniable. So if people care about the academic reputation of our universities, they should be concerned.
One of the best summaries I’ve read:

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More from @jfrickuga

12 Oct
I appreciate my Atlanta-based USG colleagues making a last-ditch effort to draw publicity to this terrible policy that the USG is ramming through and the Regents are likely to sign today. Here's my argument, for all the business-minded folks out there (including Regents)...
It's often joked that academics don't know what it's like outside the ivory tower (despite the public service and research we do across the state, but I'll let that go for now). Imagine you own a company and have thousands of highly trained employees.
These employees have the top degree in their fields. They are the front line employees who have the most regular interaction with your "customers" (I dislike the customer metaphor for students but it's accurate in this analogy). You invest many thousands $$ when you hire them.
Read 12 tweets
11 Oct
Over 300 UGA faculty have joined this online meeting, in which Dr Denley has presented a sunny overview of the gigantic policy changes, and is avoiding answering direct questions about why campus governance bodies were kept out of the loop as this is being rammed through.
If you’ve ever graded a student essay answer on a test where they don’t know the answer but they write a lot of words, that’s what this feels like. Also, side note, is Microsoft Teams always this jerky on video?
UGA faculty are enraged at this meeting. @tim_quigley just knocked it out of the park and made a compelling case for pausing on the vote tomorrow. Over 300 faculty showed up on just a few hours notice. We are not impressed by the non answers we are receiving.
Read 6 tweets
11 Oct
UGA faculty are meeting with USG Chief Academic Office Tristan Denley this afternoon. This document clearly lays out the nature of our objections. Lots of faculty (who have better things to do!) have spent a lot of time poring over these proposals: drive.google.com/file/d/1aZcGZL…
It's been like a game of whack-a-mole because the USG seems to be rushing through a vote on a monumental policy, where significant irregularities and problematic wording has been pointed out by USG faculty around the state, as well as provosts and other admins.
The effective elimination of tenure is bad enough, but the larger problem is the centralization of power, and taking away due process from department heads and university presidents. Parents, GA business owners, alums should be deeply concerned about this. insidehighered.com/news/2021/10/0…
Read 4 tweets

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