IHE has a story today on a change in policy at Western Carolina, moving away from the traditional scholarship requirements for tenure and adopting Ernest Boyer’s idea that scholarship should be evaluated more broadly than just books and articles in the right journals.
This might be a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t solve the problem. The problem is that tenure can be awarded to professors who are mediocre to downright terrible teachers and can be denied to those who are splendid teachers. Getting undergraduates to wake up to the life of the mind and take a serious interest in their subjects is, at most colleges and universities, by far the most important thing for the faculty to do. How to evaluate and reward people for good teaching is where we really need some