Faculty members discuss benefits of tenure

Jennie Torres

Several faculty members were granted tenure for presenting their skills in various areas regarding their work ethic. There was a total of 20 faculty members who were granted tenure, according to Associate Vice President of Public Relations John Morgan in a statement on MyQ on April 3.

The faculty members have completed an extensive evaluation process that included each of their teaching, research and service activities within the university.

All faculty members have a single opportunity to apply for tenure, and in the case of any negative tenure decision, the faculty member will receive a terminal one-year contract, according to the official 2017-2018 Faculty Handbook.

“A faculty member may be eligible to be evaluated for tenure when he/she has completed at least three consecutive years of full-time employment at Quinnipiac University, and meets the requirements for the rank of associate professor,” according to the handbook.

[media-credit name=”Photo Contributed by Courtney Marchese” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Assistant Professor of Interactive Media and Design Courtney Marchese said it was a relief to be one of the 20 faculty members who received tenure.

“For us, all it really means is that we have a permanent job contract. We are less likely to lose our jobs,” Marchese said. “Once you’re tenured, you’re eligible to serve on different committees and are expected to serve on other university wide committees as part of the governing of the faculty.”

Gaining recognition for the hard work done throughout the evaluation process is what associate professor of computer science Christian Duncan looked forward to upon earning tenure.

Duncan said that it is an advantage to earn tenure at a university that allows faculty members to teach and support scholarly work.

“I’ve worked at multiple universities before this, but they were all research universities. When it comes to tenure, they evaluate research, service, and teaching where 90 percent of the weight is based on research,” Duncan said. “There’s other places I went to where I did [scholarly work] anyways, but it was looked down upon.”

Assistant professor of management Julia Fullick-Jagiela said earning tenure allows faculty members to have more academic freedom and being able to research areas that they want.

“If you’re dealing with a particularly contentious topic, having tenure helps protect you so that you have that academic freedom to do that,” Fullick-Jagiela said.

As a tenured professor, there is a duty and an obligation to become an advocate for students, junior faculty or any faculty who do not currently have tenure, according to Fullick-Jagiela.

“It’s so important to get more women to tenured positions or higher level positions in the university that for those of us who have achieved that status, your work isn’t done. Your work has just started.” Fullick-Jagiela said.

Some people will feel that when they receive tenure that means they can say whatever they want, but that’s not how Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Chief Diversity Officer and Sociology Professor Don Sawyer approached things during his evaluation process.

[media-credit id=2200 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“I said things even before I had tenure, if I felt that it was something that was truthful and for the betterment of the institution. If that’s something that’s not going to get me tenure, then I have to ask myself if this is the place where I want to get tenure anyway,” Sawyer said.

Being granted tenure was exciting, according to Sawyer. He said it was an honor that people thought his work was at the level that they would want to hire him permanently as a faculty member. Being a faculty member is beneficial to Sawyer because he said it allows him to help students become more engage with their community and motivate them to think critically.

“Being a professor is an amazing job,” Sawyer said. “One, you get paid to think. Two, you get paid to work with students. Three, you have an unbelievable ability to shape how the world is going to look in the future.”