For stakeholders of Ohio’s Scripps School, it’s time to take sides

Update (3/30/10): Late yesterday afternoon, Ohio University President Roderick McDavis said he will accept the recommendation of the ad hoc committee of the faculty senate and recommended that Bill Reader be granted tenure and promotion at Ohio University.

Here is the latest from Inside Higher Ed

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If you’re among the PR professionals drawn to Grunig’s symmetrical model, you tend to shy from conflict. You’d prefer that organizations and key publics adapt to one another, that they live in accord.

But real life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes you gotta fight.

At the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University (my alma mater), they’re waging an ugly war over the denial of tenure to Professor Bill Reader. I wrote about it on Groundhog Day, and just like in the movie, the story has returned for another unsettling visit.

The story has gone far beyond simple university politics, and this post goes a bit beyond my typical 700 words.

This time, I’m taking sides. And I’m urging the students of Scripps and its recent alumni — those who know Bill Reader — to do the same. Whether you support Reader’s tenure or oppose it, now it the time to put it in writing and send it to: Dr. Roderick J. McDavis, President, Ohio University, 108 Cutler Hall, Athens, OH 45701.

If you prefer to send email, McDavis’ office gave me this address: response@ohio.edu

Here’s why you must speak up now:

Yesterday, an ad hoc committee of OU’s Faculty Senate issued its report to President McDavis recommending that Bill Reader be awarded tenure and promotion. The committee’s investigation follows the denial of tenure by Scripps Director Tom Hodson and Dean Greg Shepard.

The final decision rests with McDavis, who has 30 days to act. The Faculty Senate report represents Reader’s last avenue of appeal. If you’d like to review the full letter from the committee, download it at the end of this post. Here’s the paragraph that stands out to me:

After carefully reading through all the documents provided by both sides, and listening to arguments presented by them at the hearing, the committee unanimously finds that Professor Reader’s tenure and promotion denial was tainted by procedural problems that both deprived him of due process and significantly compromised the ability of the administration to provide adequate consideration. Furthermore, the committee found convincing evidence that Professor Reader satisfied the requirements for tenure and promotion in his school and college. We unanimously recommend that he be granted tenure and promotion.

The report was prepared by a team of five full-time faculty members, all from outside Scripps. Some may say it’s just faculty supporting a collegue, but I’m not that cynical. It appears the committee has done its work with due diligence.

The report to McDavis presents a strong case that Reader was treated unjustly. But since OU doesn’t have the benefit of collective bargaining, Reader has no union muscle to support his position.

Most folks who work outside academe don’t understand the tenure thing. Hell, I’ve been working here 19 years, and I don’t get it. Who the hell awards lifetime job security other than the Supreme Court?

Tenure is an anachronistic system, but it’s all we have right now. And without tenure, Bill Reader will soon be unemployed, and because of the controversy surrounding his case, probably unemployable as well. So before my alma mater throws a popular educator under the bus, I hope President McDavis considers the consequences for students and alumni, and the impact his decision may have on the Scripps brand, long-term and short.

If you take time to read the ad hoc committee’s report, you’ll find that Professor Reader earned consecutive years of excellent performance ratings since he joined the tenure track. This means he met the high standards for teaching, research and university service set by his administration. Based on those annual reviews, Reader had every reason to believe he was destined for tenure and possibly promotion.

I’m no HR expert, but I do know that if you want to avoid messy lawsuits for wrongful dismissal, you build a “file” that documents a candidate’s poor performance and/or inappropriate behavior. You share that information with the employee in those come-to-Jesus meetings with the boss, and you outline recommendations for improvement.

According to OU’s Faculty Senate committee, no evidence of weak performance or bad behavior appears in Reader’s dossier. In fact, the report says that Scripps Director Tom Hodson was prepared to recommend Reader for tenure after the 7-5 vote by the school’s tenure review committee but reversed course after three faculty members filed harassment complaints.

It’s pretty clear that Reader isn’t the Casper Milquetoast type. He can be outspoken and at times intimidating. Those who filed complaints call his behavior bullying. But in the comments to my last post on this topic, Reader shared precise language from the report of the Office of Institutional Equity saying it turned up no credible evidence to support the complaints against him.

From where I sit, Bill Reader deserves tenure. He’s met the criteria laid out by his employer, and by all accounts he’s one of those great teachers that make the E. W. Scripps School the fine program it is.  The fact that he doesn’t play well with others on occasion shouldn’t trump a 6-year track record of solid performance.

Did Reader piss a few people off? It appears so. Did they feel intimidated? That’s what they claim, even though the OIE report finds otherwise. So is this all just politics and internal fueding? Or did something happen in the 11th hour that turned Reader into a pariah?

Sorry, the evidence isn’t there, or at least no one has bothered to present it. But I trust President McDavis will get those answers before he renders a decision in the case.

Disclosure: I’ve been corresponding with Professor Reader over the past two weeks and found him a reasonable and serious guy. And having jumped through the tenure hoops myself, I understand the stresses of the process, maybe even to the point of feeling a kinship with Reader.

I’ve also heard from students, not one of whom has a bad thing to say about the man. One called Reader “the best teacher at Scripps,” but was unwilling to lend a name to her comment for fear of reprisals from Reader’s opponents on the faculty. The place is really politically charged, she said.

I’m not blaming the students for their silence. Courage isn’t easy to muster when you’re 21 or 22 and your instructors hold the keys to your professional future.

Students are a critical stakeholder here — as are alumni. If you feel as I do, you must speak up. Whether you support Reader’s tenure or you oppose it, you owe that much to your school — and to Reader.

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Coverage of the Faculty Senate ad hoc committee report from the OU Post student newspaper.

Coverage by Inside Higher Ed.

Initial story from the Post.

To download reports:

Ad Hoc Committee of Faculty Senate: ReaderReport

Performance Review: 2009 Performance Review

Office of Institutional Equity Investigation: OIE Report

34 Responses to For stakeholders of Ohio’s Scripps School, it’s time to take sides

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by BillSledzik: I’m encouraging E. W. Scripps alumni to join me in standing up for Professor Bill Reader. Please pass the word. http://bit.ly/dqutfC

  2. drew shippy says:

    If you read further into the details of this case, Bill, the professor also has been reprimanded multiple times for making physical threats to other faculty members, for berating associates, etc. Further, during a recent hearing, he showed off several signs of self-mutilation, with words like “free me” carved into his arms, as evidence that OU is mistreating him. I would say these are, at the very least, signs of serious emotional/behavioral issues. This is the sort of guy who, perhaps one time in 10, will walk into work with an AK-47. Can any school take that chance?

    • Eddith Dashiell says:

      If YOU look took the time to “seriously look further into the details of this case”, you will discover that every point you are trying to make is based on lies and embellished rumor. It is the childhood game of “telephone” that has been taken to a whole new level. Everything you wrote here is 100% wrong. Bill Reader did NOT physically threaten anyone. The administration had no grounds to call the police. Calling the police was a power play to stack the deck after the fact in order to justify firing Professor Reader–despite his record of “exceeds-expectations” annual reviews from his peers. Bill Reader has NEVER been reprimanded for making PHYSICAL threats. He has NEVER been formally reprimanded at any time for anything. These are lies. He did not carve “words like ‘free me'” in his arms. He did NOT “show off” the scars on his arms during a “recent hearing.” More lies. The minor damage he did to himself (the scars are fading) he did because he was going through a difficult divorce–NOT “as evidence that OU was mistreating him.” Self-multilation is NOT an indication that a person is a danger to other people. It is a sign that the person is depressed. There are a fair number of students at Ohio University who are being treated for depression. Some of them are also self-multilators. [This is not hearsay or rumor. It is a fact. In my job, I usually have a half dozen students who come to my office claiming that they are depressed. Depression is not a sign of “serious emotional/behavioral issues” that would justify firing someone or that that person will soon show up on campus with an “AK-47”. If that were the case, ther would be more unemployed peole in the world than they presently are. An official investigation has already determined that Bill Reader is not a physical threat to anyone. Now the only issue that remains is whether Bill Reader can be fired for expressing his opinions–opinions that the status quo apparently disagree with. The same First Amendment that protects YOUR right to write these lies and ridiculous opinions in your blog is the same First Amendment that protects my right to rebut your stupid notions. It is also the same First Amendment that protects Bill Reader. If Bill Reader can be silenced….so can you.

      • Bill Sledzik says:

        I’d like to thank Scripps Associate Dean Dashiell for those points of clarification. She is in a position to have seen all the facts and all the reports.

        I would also add that Dr. Dashiell has nothing to gain by coming to Professor Reader’s defense. In fact, she speaks at considerable risk to her own career. It’s called courage. And we could use more of it in this world.

  3. Bill Sledzik says:

    I’ve read all the stories, Drew. But I’m not gonna play amateur psychologist here based on a few news reports and empty speculation.

    The harassment complaints filed by Reader’s colleagues have been investigated and found without basis. Even Hodson, in his letter recommending denial of tenure, provides “no specific evidence” of these behaviors. So if Reader has been “reprimanded,” where’s the paper trail in the HR file? Or are we back to hearsay?

    And it’s worth noting that the folks who filed their complaints did so only after the positive vote of the tenure & promotion committee. A blocking maneuver? Also worth noting is that Director Hodson makes no mention of bullying or harassment in Reader’s annual performance reviews.

    As for the self-mutilation reports, I know enough about the situation to accept that it was not the result of some ongoing emotional problem. It had more to do with massive quantities of alcohol on a very bad day. Been there. Done that. One bad decision, that harmed no one but Reader himself, does not mean he’s an evil person. Let’s move on.

    I really don’t want to address your last bit of conjecture in light of last week’s events in Alabama. But I must. From what I know in my exchanges with students, faculty and Reader himself, the man is no more of a threat to my safety than half the highly educated, outspoken know-it-alls here in Franklin Hall. I call them colleagues, and I kinda like ’em the way they are.

    I do understand your concerns in light of the events in Huntsville, Drew. But if you deny tenure to everyone who’s a little quirky or even at times belligerent. Well, that’d be one way to get rid of tenure once and for all! And yeah, I’m willing to take “the chance” on Bill Reader. He’s earned it.

    The Scripps administration hasn’t made its case here, and the school is about to lose an excellent teacher. I’d be willing to bet Ohio U is also about to get a positive vote on collective bargaining. I certainly hope so.

  4. Kevin Moist says:

    Um, I’m not sure what case Drew is talking about here.

    Reader has never been reprimanded for making any threats at all, let alone physical ones. In fact the documents show that he has been praised in his yearly reviews for being a hardworking team player (if one who is self-admittedly often blunt).

    The scars on his arms had nothing to do with his work experience; they are connected with a particularly ugly divorce. He revealed those scars to his boss in a confidential setting because he was afraid they would be used against him, and he trusted his boss to be sensitive to his privacy. What happened, of course, was exactly the opposite (sounds like a great administrator, no?).

    Even beyond that, if one reads the faculty senate report on his case, it makes the clear point that the allegations against him are _personnel_ matters that have nothing to do with his _tenure_ case, and that the two are (necessarily) administratively separate within the university structure. The committee’s finding in Reader’s favor is based on the fact that his program chair and dean denied _tenure_ solely on the basis of _personnel_ issues that had, at that point in time, not risen above the level of hearsay and accusation. Investigations into the veracity of those accusations found NOTHING to support them. NOTHING.

    The full documentation for the case is appended to an article in today’s Ohio U Post.

    http://thepost.ohiou.edu/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=30646

    Reader has been nothing but forthcoming in the situation, making all this information public even when it shows him in a less-than-favorable light (would that be a wise PR technique?). His accusers, on the other hand, have been secretive, underhanded, and have been caught in various lies as part of the school’s investigations.

    Skip the lies and innuendo, friend; help yourself to some facts before you ladle out the slander.

  5. Bill Sledzik says:

    I’ll just say that Kevin’s assessment squares with my own, but it sounds as though he knows a lot more than I do. Thanks for joining in, sir, and for the link. I love Ohio’s open records law!

    FYI, I have sent a supporting email to President McDavis along with a link to this post. Let’s hope it adds a little sunshine to the discussion.

  6. Bill Reader says:

    Drew — Your claims are not factual. Here is what the Office of institutional Equity report found in terms of my work record:

    “Hodson’s letter and Shepherd’s letter refer to “volatile” behavior, “bullying” behavior, and conduct perceived as noncollegial. A review of departmental and peer evaluations contained strongly positive comments with no negative commentary in regards to Reader’s collegiality or progress towards tenure. Within Readers annual reviews, there were no assertions of volatile, bullying, or other anti-social behaviors from actual or perceived disability or any other cause.

    “Hodson stated that Reader has not been subject to disciplinary action. This office did not find any documentation of discipline that reflected volatile, bullying, or other anti-social behaviors from actual or perceived disability or any other cause.”

    I have never been reprimanded. I have never threatened colleagues. The “scars” were shown in private to my supervisor, who I thought I could trust with that information (they say “truth” and “comfort,” by the way). I have no record of violence or dangerous behavior. As such, Drew, your misrepresentation of the facts is reckless, irresponsible, and defamatory, not to mention bigoted with regard to mental and emotional health.

  7. drew shippy says:

    It’s rather easy for you to say that these charges are baseless Bill, for you have not had the “opportunity” to work side by side with Mr. Reader. Several others who have have made multiple harassment claims. OU’s Faculty Handbook clearly states that being a “good teacher” doesn’t guarantee tenure. I suspect, and would hope, that an ability to work as a colleague would be a criterion as well. By many accounts, Mr. Reader falls short in this area. The story in the Athens News includes a report that Mr. Reader showed the scars to the school’s director with the warning that his tenure candidacy better be reconsidered or he (the director) would end up on Reader’s “list.” This PD. The Post’s account, by the way, is hardly objective given that many on the editorial staff are Mr. Reader’s students. I would simply suggest that Mr. Reader take his talents elsewhere.

  8. drew shippy says:

    My last response became garbled in transmission. I wanted to add that Reader’s “threat” to the school’s director was reported to the OU PD. In fact, the director felt he needed police protection.

    Emails exist which show Mr. Reader’s lack of tact in dealing with others. That’s a paper trail.

  9. Rancid Venison says:

    Drew: Wow. All I can say is, “What drug did you take?” Whatever it is, it should be made illegal, as symptoms include vivid, twisted, and malicious hallucinations across-the-board. Please seek professional help.

    • Bill Sledzik says:

      @Rancid. I’m gonna do my best not to censor this discussion, as I don’t moderate blog comments. But you’re out of line — entirely. And you’re showing cowardice by posting anonymously.

      If you want to do personal attacks, try talk radio. But I’d rather you not return to this thread, OK?

  10. Bill Sledzik says:

    @ Drew: I’m in no position to dispute claims, Drew. I’m just sitting here in Kent, Ohio, trying to make sense of the evidence at hand, that is, the documents that have been released and posted online.

    I’ve not seen the email “paper trail” you reference or the police report you mention, and I don’t see them referenced in the report of the Faculty Senate committee. Did they not have access to this information? As for Reader’s lack of tact, maybe that’s true. But it’s not a firing offense. Actually, it’s pretty common in academe.

    Regarding the charges of harassment being “baseless,” I’m basing my comment on the OIE report, since it seems to the the only credible authority I can get my hands on at present. If you have other information, this is an open forum.

    As for the Athens News reporting about what happened in a closed-door meeting. Well, I haven’t see that report, but I’ve seen reports of it. I suspect, however, that the paper reported what someone told them happened in that meeting, since I doubt a reporter was present. And as we all know, there are two sides to every story, and the media have been know to take one of them, just as I have with this post.

    I’m hopeful we’ll get at some truth. Lord knows this case could use it.

  11. Rancid Venison says:

    OK, Bill, that’s fine, but I don’t agree that posting anonymously is cowardly. At the same time, I would ask that you please take the same stance toward those such as “drew” who would spread malicious and baseless lies. I was merely trying to demonstrate how one can make things up completely.

    • Bill Sledzik says:

      OK. That’s more like it. In my last comment, I have invited Drew to post any evidence he may have to support his points. That’s how I run debate here.

      I don’t have to tell you that Bill Reader does have his detractors. If they can make their case by offering evidence or posting links to it, let’s hear it. If what Professor Reader says is true, his supporters have nothing to worry about.

      We can debate the anonymous comment thing another time. I agree that it’s not always cowardly, but combined with your tone, it was a bit, ah, rancid. And don’t be dissing venison. It’s my primary source of protein🙂

      • Rancid Venison says:

        No offense meant to venison, but rancid venison, you must admit, is nasty, and the name was meant as a tip-off about the nasty sarcasm in my post. My apologies if that was miscommunicated. Please remind me to bring up the witness protection program and whistle-blowers in our debate, when we eventually do that. Looking forward to it. I love a good argument. Best with your cause, here. It’s a good one.

  12. drew shippy says:

    Are reports of harassment “baseless” to the three individuals who made these claims? Were there others present? Perhaps not. But these reports deserve serious attention.

    I’m not talking about a “firing offense,” here. I just would not consider granting tenure to this person. I also suggest that readers visit the Facebook page on which students share their favorite Bill Reader insults. As a proud OU alum, I would not want this guy teaching my son or daughter.

    • Bill Sledzik says:

      Fair enough, Drew. But now we’re down to hearsay. That doesn’t make the claims invalid, but it does make it hard to evaluate them. All we have to go on here is the report of disinterested authority, the OIE. And I have to trust it absent any other evidence.

      In my years as an educator, I’ve inadvertently insulted students many times, mostly with my written comments on papers. No everyone sees humor in, “This is a real trainwreck.” But they learn from it. I’ve also been told many, many times that the sophomores find me intimidating. (They tell me that once they get senior status and don’t have to take my classes.)

      If the students find Reader’s insults amusing, perhaps that’s how he intends them. But yeah, it doesn’t work for everyone. I, too, and a proud Scripps alum. But if I have any more kids, I’m sending them to Kent State🙂

    • Bill Reader says:

      Drew — Being denied tenure is the same as getting fired.

  13. drew shippy says:

    Also interesting to note that the campus editor for The Post and the reporter covering this story is a member of the “I Support Professor Reader” Facebook group. Hmmm.

  14. Bill Reader says:

    I don’t agree with Rancid’s attack on you, Drew, but I do wish, again, you would check your facts first. Just because somebody in a hearing “claims” to have been afraid doesn’t mean much if no formal action was taken. In fact, claiming to be “afraid” of somebody because you regard them as “crazy,” without any good reason and not following proper investigatory procedures, is the basis for prejudice and discrimination, the latter of which is unlawful in the workplace.

  15. lifeasa20something says:

    Yikes. I was excited to chime in on this post, Bill S., but it’s gotten a little too intense for me.

    I’ll just leave it at this–OU better hope there is one HELL of a paper trail proving Bill Reader is as screwed up in the head as they claim or they can expect a big, fat wrongful termination law suit. Let’s see these e-mails, bucko.

    And for the record, I don’t think you’re screwed up in the head, Bill R.🙂 Although if I had to work that close to West Virginia, I probably would be. Blugh!

    Props to Wesley for chiming in. What an editor!

  16. student says:

    @Drew-“My last response became garbled in transmission”. Was that transmission from the voices in your head?

    “Let Reader take his talents elsewhere.” So let me get this straight, you believe him to be scary and crazy, yet you think it is OK for him to go to another school and “share his talents”? This leads one to believe you are actually at Ohio University. I wonder who would hope to benefit from the outlandish and defamatory remarks you have made?

    It’s sad that the environment at Scripps is so secretive and nasty. The students are so frightened of the administration’s wrath that they have to make positive posts about Professor Reader anonymously- for fear that support of him may damage their future career. That says it all.

    P.S. What were you doing on the “Support Professor Reader” Facebook page? I suspect you weren’t hoping to track down the facts.

  17. Bill Sledzik says:

    @student: One of the sad outcomes of this debacle is that a school founded on the values of free speech and open discussion finds itself unable to support either. One insider who contacted me privately called the environment within Scripps “toxic.”

    I was inspired to write this post by the students who told me they feared speaking up on Reader’s behalf. I’d also like to see some real accountability in the tenure process. I just don’t see it here.

  18. Taylor Randall says:

    As a 2009 alumna, I’d like to add my thoughts. I’ll try to keep them brief and save the rest for the letter I’m sending to McDavis later today–

    When I received word that Professor Reader’s tenure was in jeopardy, I was stunned. I know the gravity of this situation and have not for one moment doubted Professor Reader’s eligibility.

    I’ve been following The Post’s coverage, and it appears that Bill Reader has met and exceeded the requirements for tenure. I’ll admit that I am bothered by the accusations flying around on all sides, from Professor Reader’s alleged “bullying” to the school as a whole sustaining a “hostile work environment” for more than a decade. I am also disappointed to see the faculty and administrators I respect resort to angry outbursts, snapping pens and interrupting each other to express themselves.

    Nonetheless, it seems that the faculty and administration did not pursue punitive action against Reader while these allegations were timely, and I must agree with the Faculty Senate committee that “those allegations of misconduct should be handled independently and should hold no weight in the tenure process.”

    I know that Bill Reader has poured much into this school and is a well-liked professor, and I believe it would be a severe detriment to the school for his talent and dedication to leave this campus. While there are, at times, professors who should be (or should have been) denied tenure, Bill Reader is not one of them.

    To Professor Reader — Regardless of the outcome, please know that you have inspired many students, even some who took only one class with you. I wish you all the best.

  19. Christopher Curley says:

    Before contributing, a few thoughts up front:

    First, my thanks to Bill Sledzik for hosting this dialog and facilitating this conversation. I especially appreciate your effort to allow others to share contrary opinions and to keep the conversation civil.

    Second, Bill Reader has been one of my closest and dearest friends for more than twenty years. You may use this information to dismiss my comments as biased or use it to as evidence of my expertise.
    Kevin Moist refutes Drew Shippy completely, and frankly better than I could. I don’t need to comment further on that.

    What I would like to add is a comment about the nature of the on-going attack on Bill Reader’s character.

    We know that the faculty initially voted grant him tenure. Later, his peers rated his performance this year, again, as exceeding expectation. His professional record, cited in the findings of the ad hoc committee of the Faculty Senate provides evidence demonstrating that he has been and can be collegial, collaborative and professional. Only in middle of these events – raised outside of HR processes, used as justification after the fact, and emerging from exclusive conversations – comes a concern about Bill Reader’s character.

    The ad hoc committee of the Faculty Senate found this process where Bill Reader’s character has been called into such question to be flawed, biased and unfair. Yet, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, the bell cannot be un-rung; having been accused of something, there are some who continue to use the accusation itself as proof of the accusation – despite evidence to the contrary – uniting premise and conclusion into one tautological step in the attempt to prove in some way he must be unfit.

    The most incredible aspect of the steadfast assertion against Bill Reader is that process he has followed to contest the denial of his tenure based on such claims helps disprove them. Instead of conducting himself in a fashion he has been accused of, Bill Reader followed the processes proscribed for appealing the decision and airing his grievances. Bill Reader has, in short, conducted himself in an civilized, adult, and professional manner as one would expect a civilized and professional adult to behave.

    I believe we all agree that any concern over a colleague might be in some way a danger is a serious concern and should be investigated seriously and professionally for the sake of all. However, there are processes to be followed to vet those concerns, processes that protect both the accuser and the accused. In this case, those published and well-structured processes were not followed , obligations to the accused were not respected, and in consequence, having found no basis for these claims outside the accusations themselves, Bill Reader finds himself having to defend himself.

    Had proper procedure and correct processes been followed in the first place, a reasonable person might reasonably conclude the ensuing debacle would not have unfolded. Despite the hardship Bill Reader has endured as a consequence of these unsubstantiated accusations and the biased process from which they emerged, he has conducted himself in a way that I have been and continue to be proud of.

  20. R Thomas Berner says:

    The way Bill Reader was treated does not reflect well on OU. I hope the president grants him tenure and gets rid of Bill’s dean and department head, both of whom don’t understand that in the United States we honor due process.

  21. Elisabeth says:

    “One called Reader “the best teacher at Scripps,” but was unwilling to lend a name to her comment for fear of reprisals from Reader’s opponents on the faculty. ”

    As a recent graduate, free from fear of reprisal from Scripps politics, I’d just like to throw it out there: Bill Reader is, without a doubt, the best professor at OU’s school of journalism.

  22. Megan says:

    I would second Elisabeth’s stance that Bill Reader is undoubtedly the best professor at Scripps. As a 2006 graduate, I was able to take many classes with him and had the good fortune of being one of his advisees. And as a graduate, I am fortunate that I do not have to fear retaliation from petty professors.
    The entire premise that tenure can be denied on the basis of collegiality is preposterous. Not only do I know Bill to be a compassionate, earnest, fair, and kind person, but to be a consummate professional. He is utterly dedicated to his calling as an educator. That said, tenure should not be denied based on a professor’s ability to play nicely with their colleagues. The most important job of a professor is to prepare students for the real world; to instill in them the knowledge they need to succeed, and hopefully, ignite in them the drive to be something out of the ordinary. Bill goes above and beyond in that respect, and is much more deserving of the tenure that is at stake here than many of the tenured faculty I was exposed to during my time at Scripps.

  23. Bill Sledzik says:

    Thanks for going on the record, Megan. Gotta tell you, administrations don’t often consider student and alumni input on these decisions. That’s not the way it’s done.

    But maybe if Dr. McDavis hears from Bill’s former students he’ll know that the performance reviews for teaching weren’t a fluke. Maybe he’ll decide that a 6-year earned performance record is what really matters here.

  24. Bill Sledzik says:

    I placed this as an “update” at the top of the post, but am adding it here so anyone subscribed to the thread will be sure to see it.

    Update (3/30/10): Late yesterday afternoon, Ohio University President Roderick McDavis announced that he has accepted the recommendation of the ad hoc committee of the faculty senate and recommended that Bill Reader be granted tenure and promotion at Ohio University.

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