Denied Tenure, a Professor Takes His Battle Public

U. of Kansas alumni rally to his cause, to little effect

Denied Tenure, a Professor Burns His BridgesKicker 1

Julie Denesha for The Chronicle

Albert Romkes, until recently an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the U. of Kansas, works at home in Lawrence, Kan. He acknowledges that his public campaign to reverse his tenure denial will make it difficult for him to find another academic job.

When Albert Romkes was denied tenure, he decided he wasn't going to leave the University of Kansas without a fight.

First the mechanical-engineering professor appealed directly to the chancellor. When that failed, he turned to the courts to force Kansas to reconsider. Finally, still facing the loss of his job, he and his supporters made the fight very, very public.

Color brochures. A Web site. Posters. Picket signs.

At the very least, they figured, they would make sure