One year after the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia voted to limit faculty tenure protections, a survey of professors across the system finds that 57 percent of respondents say tenure changes will affect their desire to remain as a faculty member in Georgia. Individual faculty members also report searching for or finding new jobs outside the university system, according to the survey from the state conference of the American Association of University Professors.
Some 68 percent of respondents say the tenure changes will negatively affect their recommendation to a graduate student or faculty member in another state seeking employment in the system. Twenty-nine percent of respondents say they know of direct effects from the tenure changes on faculty searches at their university, as well. Nearly all respondents agree with the national AAUP’s definition of tenure as including the right to a dismissal hearing, which is not guaranteed by Georgia’s controversial new policy. Georgia’s AAUP conference conducted the survey online late last month through last week. Some 972 professors responded, out of approximately 11,700 full-time faculty members across the system.
The university system said in a statement that Georgia’s public colleges and universities “have worked with faculty to develop strong institutional post-tenure, annual evaluation and student success policies. Their efforts strengthen tenure by allowing tenured faculty to be held accountable by their peers for at least maintaining, if not exceeding, the standards of a tenured faculty member. A vast majority of faculty who have been awarded tenure continue to perform at a high level, and these revised policies also require institutions to reward faculty who demonstrate excellence in their post-tenure review. Additionally, the new policies continue to provide due process for faculty over multiple years in faculty-driven procedures.”