Monday, May 11, 2009

KCTCS tenure and accuracy

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System trustees voted in March to eliminate tenure as an option for future employees. Sunday's Herald-Leader editorial added some worrisome elements to the story.

First, the H-L reports that trustees were told that similar schools in all the surrounding states except Ohio had eliminated tenure, when that apparently is not so.

Second, the H-L reports that concern was raised about being stuck with programs that no longer attracted students (with Latin as the example) if faculty in the program had tenure. That is also untrue: postsecondary institutions with tenure can and do shed whole programs when necessary.

If the trustees did indeed rely on those two pieces of misinformation, there's a third problem. A sustained public discussion allows accurate information on key points to develop. It isn't enough to have staff research the issues, even if they spend three years considering it as KCTCS officials reportedly did. Other people, with other concerns and sources, can clear up the basic facts and identify additional issues that need discussion. The trustees should have realized that a decision this significant needed that level of public engagement.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Updates and data on Kentucky education!