Inside Higher Ed
September 9th, 2015
So far, Bruce Harreld, the newly named president of the University of
Iowa, has made one decision that faculty members have applauded.
Harreld, whose selection was opposed by faculty leaders and many other
academics, said he would not seek the position as tenured professor that
the Iowa Board of Regents offered as a possibility.
Harreld's contract said that "subject to the recommendation of the
faculty," he would be granted tenure as a professor in Iowa's College of
Business, and that this position would be available to him when he left
the presidency, at a salary equal to the highest-paid tenured business
professor at the university.
Such contract provisions are common for college and university
presidents. But it's also common that many presidents earned tenure at
some point in an academic career that turned into an administrative
career. But what about candidates like Harreld, who was named president
despite never having held a full-time position in academe or
demonstrating much knowledge of how colleges and universities work?
(Board members said they liked his extensive business experience.)
Should these nontraditional presidents receive the same tenure offers as
part of their contracts when they never earned tenure?