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Election: As Fair As Getting Tenure?
By Denise A. Tucker, Ph.D. November 24, 2000

Until last night, I thought the process of getting promotion and tenure in the university community was the most unfair political process in the world. Now that I have witnessed the Democratic machine hard at work in South Florida, I realize I was utterly mistaken. Inspired by our devoted canvassing boards in the South, I recommend to Universities and Colleges nationwide "Al Gore's Method of Getting Promotion and Tenure". This procedure is as follows:

1. As stated in University law, all candidates must submit their dossiers by September 15th. Unless, of course, you are good friends with the University Provost. Then you may hire a lawyer and have the established University deadline overturned, thus giving you an extra three weeks to get your papers together.

2. External Peer Reviews: External reviews and recommendations of your tenure are due in three days after your papers are filed. However, a five page memo written by your worst enemy on campus will be distributed to all members of the promotion and tenure committees within the College, with detailed instructions on how to throw out reviews favorable to your tenure or how to include reviews critical of your work.

3. Four days before your dossier is handed in, people working for your worst enemy at the University will be given access to your private files in the Human Resources Department. Sensitive information, such as previous DUI reports, will be printed and distributed across campus to all members of the voting academic community.

4. You must construct your dossier according to published and established University guidelines. However, three weeks after your dossier is submitted, members of the promotion and tenure committee may go to their Department Heads and have all the guidelines changed. No previous standards or criteria will then apply.

5. Your dossier will be hand reviewed by a number of hostile members of the academic community. They may twist, turn, stamp on the floor, tape, poke, alter, add to, or remove items from your dossier, but don't worry. They will be closely supervised.

6. Although you may receive recommendations for promotion and tenure from your Department and Dean, please be advised that the supreme vote lies ultimately with University Provost and Board of Trustees, who were appointed to their positions by people working for your worst enemy on campus. Don't worry. They are true to their positions and and are above the fray. If anybody can work around the law, they can.


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