Under a new policy adopted Friday by the state board of regents, it will be a little harder to hang on to tenure at Utah colleges and universities.
Regents voted to strengthen the post-tenure reviews of professors, mandating periodic evaluations that ensure faculty continue to meet standards for teaching and research once they achieve tenure’s protections.
The move was intended to mollify legislative critics who say the tenure system has outlived its usefulness and removes incentives for professors to excel in the classroom and lab. Last session, a bill to scrap tenure was dropped in committee, but the issue is certain to be resurrected next year.
“We hope that post-tenure review will be rigorous enough that the Legislature will be less tempted to tinker with the tenure system,” regents chairman David Jordan told his colleagues in a meeting at Utah Valley University. “Today’s changes clarify guidelines that promote thorough and regular practices in order to properly evaluate faculty performance.”