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Our View: Universities should overhaul tenure system

Anibal Santos

Anibal Santos

Staff

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Anybody who has been in college for a while has had to experience at least one bad professor. Maybe they were unprepared, lazy or just hard to understand. Unfortunately, due to a complicated tenure system, bad professors are extremely hard to get rid of. Even teachers and professors who have done something really bad are hard to fire without going through an appeals process first.

This problem was made even more apparent during the recent Miramonte molestation case, in which multiple teachers were accused of molesting their elementary school students. The school was forced to continue to pay them even after they were put on leave.

The problem with tenure is that it keeps ineffective professors at their jobs for years when they could be replaced by professors who are much better. It was originally implemented to make sure that schools would not just fire more experienced teachers so they can hire younger ones who cost less. This makes sense, but the process of firing teachers needs to be fixed.

There are currently three bills about to be addressed that all promise to fix the system. One of the bills only applies to teachers who have done something serious like violence or molestation. This makes sense after the Miramonte scandal, but it still fails to address what to do if a teacher is just plain bad at their job.

The other two bills plan to remove an arbitrary rule that no teacher can be fired during the summer months of May through September. They will also help to allow the schools to give more evidence to back up their complaints about a certain teacher. They would also get rid of a lengthy waiting period in which the school has to inform the teacher of their intent to fire months in advance.

It is important that teachers and professors are protected from losing their jobs, especially during a budget crisis like the one we’re in. We don’t want professors getting fired just because the school can barely afford to pay them. When that happens, it affects the quality of our education.

However, professors that the school has had multiple valid complaints about should be forced to prove that they can do a better job. If they don’t fix their teaching style, they should be fired just like any other job.

It is clear that something has to be done about the difficulty to fire professors in California. The amount of tuition we pay at this school should give us the right to never deal with a bad professor again. Professors should strive to be exceptional because they care, not so that they can get tenured and give up. Professors shouldn’t be afraid for their jobs ofr nothing, but they should at least know that sub-par work will not be tolerated.

Universities should look into finding a way to change the system so that schools can start to get rid of the professors who get constant complaints and don’t try as hard as others.

Hopefully this will help keep things like the Miramonte disaster from happening, and will help students everywhere get the education they deserve.

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1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840 -- LA-4 201  --  (562) 985-8000.
Our View: Universities should overhaul tenure system