• December 20, 2014

Kentucky Attorney General Tells Community-College Board to Restore Tenure

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System's Board of Regents overstepped its bounds when it voted in March to eliminate tenure for all faculty and staff members hired after July 1, according to an advisory opinion from the state attorney general's office.

The opinion, issued this week at the request of state Rep. Rick Nelson, a Democrat, says the board's authority to govern the system is delineated by state law, which calls for the system's new employees to earn tenure based on whatever personnel policies the board has put in place. While the board has the authority to adopt new procedures and standards for granting tenure, the opinion says, "it is not free to eliminate tenture entirely."

Allison Gardner Martin, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Jack Conway, said the board faces a civil lawsuit if it does not take action to remedy the conflict between its policy and the state law cited in the letter. The board is scheduled to meet this week.

Proponents of the board's decision to abolish tenure for new hires had argued that it would save the system money and would give colleges more flexibility in hiring decisions. Many faculty members at community and technical colleges were angered by the decision, however, and those at several institutions voted no confidence in the system's leadership in the months following the board's vote.

Comments

1. nampman - September 23, 2009 at 04:33 pm

It's about time someone made Boards stop treating higher education as a for profit busines.

2. andrelinoc - September 23, 2009 at 05:00 pm

This is proof that when the money runs out every option must be on the table.

3. chandrak - September 23, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Tenure is a must for faculty because it protects faculty from abuse by administrators and others. Academic freedom will be affected by elimination of tenure. I hope the Board will reconsider and keep tenure in the system.

4. 11209892 - December 04, 2009 at 01:28 pm

It seems that many systems are heading for a "contract" base vs. tenure. It seems to me that the tenure system, if used wisely, can protect the faculty from inadvertent terminations due to disagreements between the teacher and the board. However, there should be something in place to make sure that the creative energies of the faculty member continue to be placed in the classroom even after the granting of tenure.

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