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Author Topic: When the crazy kicks in  (Read 22682 times)
ruralguy
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2012, 1:39:49 PM »

If anyone else's school is like mine, all sorts of crazies can get away with a lot before anything really happens.
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kaysixteen
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 4:02:24 PM »

Whether or not he can get away with this behavior actually depends largely on what that behavior actually is-- the fellow may well argue that it is vastly different and less malignant than what the OP perceives it as.
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tuxthepenguin
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2012, 1:36:51 AM »

Does your school have a written set of expectations for faculty behavior? If not, you might consider pushing for one. Being drunk at the office would clearly violate my university's standards. Repeatedly being drunk would be grounds for firing someone, the only effect tenure would have would be a longer process. I don't know if what you're saying would qualify, though, as long as it were limited to fellow faculty and administrators. He would be gone quickly if he acted that way with students.

Being a jerk may not be sufficient grounds for firing, but at the same time tenure doesn't provide any protection of his right to be a well-documented jerk, either.

What I wonder is why you put up with it. I get along well with everyone at my university, but I sure wouldn't put up with behavior like that. I'd just tell him what was on my mind. I'd send the dean a complaint about his behavior creating an environment that doesn't allow me to do my job. I'd tell the campus police that the guy is not stable and that I don't feel safe when he's around.

As an aside, this is a great example for all those who wonder about the "collegiality" excuse for not giving someone tenure.
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ursula
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2012, 9:20:02 AM »

Update:  Buddy has been called to a "come to jeebus" meeting with the Dean and the Director of HR. 
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prof52
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2012, 12:23:12 PM »

Update:  Buddy has been called to a "come to jeebus" meeting with the Dean and the Director of HR. 

That warms my heart.  Once targeted by a dean, he'll always be on the watch list.  If he is having personal problems, this might even be a good opportunity for him to start dealing with them.  If not, hopefully he'll either shape up or be asked to ship out.
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ruralguy
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« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2012, 1:34:43 PM »

In my 13 years at my school, about half a dozen men and maybe a couple of women have been called into the Dean for this sort of behavior.

It almost never amounts to anything official (beyond the meeting), then often, one of the parties involved just gets so sick of the conditions that they leave. I know one dept. that had to be put into "recievership" due to internal conflicts. Then, one of the parties moved her office across campus, then, a couple of years later, applied for and got a better job.
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skeptical
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« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2012, 6:58:05 PM »

OP--what is this fellow's chair doing about this (if anything)? Chair's have more power than some of them realize. The chair can, for example, assign certain people to teach those 7 am or evening classes. One way to get rid of tenured faculty (I have some experience with this) is to catch them mis-treating students. Tenure really can't protect people whose behavior crosses certain lines: All it takes is the will to do something about it.
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tuxthepenguin
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« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2012, 12:47:47 AM »

Tenure really can't protect people whose behavior crosses certain lines: All it takes is the will to do something about it.

Very true. Only problem is that most places don't have a set of rules written down to clarify the line you have to cross to be fired. It's not easy to write such rules.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2012, 12:14:26 PM »

Tenure really can't protect people whose behavior crosses certain lines: All it takes is the will to do something about it.

Very true. Only problem is that most places don't have a set of rules written down to clarify the line you have to cross to be fired. It's not easy to write such rules.

Some (perhaps many?) campuses do have a civil speech policy, and tenure actually doesn't protect against violation of institutional policies. If that is the case here, then there may be something that can be done about the offending--and offensive--faculty member.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

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kaysixteen
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« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2012, 3:44:47 PM »

What exactly is the nature of the faculty 'civil speech policy', and who gets to decide whether it has been violated?
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msparticularity
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2012, 11:34:13 PM »

What exactly is the nature of the faculty 'civil speech policy', and who gets to decide whether it has been violated?

I'm not talking about a faculty policy, but a campus-wide policy. Google "campus speech codes" for a glimpse of how widespread these policies are. While most are purportedly focused upon hate speech, they really amount to codes for civil speech. They have been challenged in courts with mixed results, but linger all over.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
kaysixteen
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2012, 4:26:52 PM »

Errr... I thought those policies had more or less been killed by the courts.  Welcome to raw fascism... at exactly the place it ought not be, a university, a place ostensibly devoted to the expression of ideas and the discussion and search for truth.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2012, 11:31:32 PM »

Errr... I thought those policies had more or less been killed by the courts.  Welcome to raw fascism... at exactly the place it ought not be, a university, a place ostensibly devoted to the expression of ideas and the discussion and search for truth.

There have been numerous court rulings on the subject, but the policies are still pretty much omnipresent. I have to confess that I have mixed feelings on the subject. I'm not so sure that it's a bad thing to think of our public educational institutions as the place where we practice up on having free speech in the public sphere--but we do it with "training wheels," if you will. My version of training wheels would include complete freedom to express an opinion, but a requirement that this be done without personal attacks. IOW, one could disagree with (or even attack) ideas, but not people. I'll grant you that the dividing line can get messy, but it would go a long way toward dealing with the ad homs we get buried in during every election season!

And to return to the topic at hand: if there are campus policies that demand certain protocols in dealing with others, they may be defensible in court. The freedom to express one's ideas does not necessarily include the freedom to be an a$$hole to others.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
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