Particular Haunting

In the academic world, the principle of collegiality seems to be pervasive and to prevail, irrespective of managerial attitudes to the contrary. The principle manifests itself in the hiring and promotion processes, whereby it is one’s academic peers, or near-peers, or never peers, who determine whether one will be hired or promoted. Some view collegiality as a means to eliminate diversity of academic thought or behaviour in a particular institution. The principle means, in many respects, that one must be liked to be hired or promoted, irrespective of one’s objective suitability for the position or the promotion. Assuming “objective suitability for the position or promotion” is ever possible, objectively.

The principle has very much a “like me” dimension. If one is in a university department where research is marginal, existing faculty members typically do not favour a research star, for hiring, tenure or promotion. It is in such universities where one discovers persons with the title “full professor”, who have accomplished little, in terms of published scholarship, and despite the fact that the “full professor” title is generally associated with significant contributions to knowledge. On the other hand, since the term “professor” is so loosely used in contemporary times

The haunting comes when actions are taken by university administrations that go contrary to the principle of collegiality, which typically means not accepting the hiring, tenure or promotion views of a particular group of academics. The haunting affects those who are granted academic positions or accommodations by a university administration. The peer group never lets such person forget. Know of situations where a person obtained tenure, over the objections of colleagues, and was haunted throughout his or her career. Every time an issue came up where collegial input was required, the person was opposed. They never forget to remind: we didn’t want you then, and we don’t want you now. Last year, or decades ago.

Permanent outsider status being the result. And if the protection of a university administrator or university administration disappears…

On the other hand, if the colleagues favour a professor and the university administrators disagree


About brucelarochelle
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