Collegiality as a Factor in Tenure Decisions

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The successful governance of the academic business of the university depends on cooperation. While disagreements play a vital role in any decision-making process, university faculty and administrators may seek to use the tenure process to deny tenure to nontenured faculty whose contributions have been divisive and disruptive. To date, no court has found that the use of collegiality in making tenure decisions is inappropriate. However, judicial conflicts arise as to whether collegiality has been invoked in a manner that is discriminatory or violative of free speech. Because collegiality is concerned with conduct rather than such academic matters as publication records or numbers of courses taught, it is likely to be a suspect factor to faculty members who have been denied tenure.

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