Jeanette Powell: Tenure abuse

November 16, 2012 

Tenure abuse

A 68-year-old UNC-CH professor requests a raise while awaiting trial in Argentina on drug smuggling charges incurred after failing to hook up with a swimsuit model he met online. Colleagues have chosen the tenure battleground and support his innocence and right to receive pay through definition of his mental deficiencies.

I encourage them to review the tenure policy, which is designed to protect the right to autonomous intellectual pursuits without fear of retribution. It does not protect individuals from felony prosecution or mental defect. It does, however, provide the opportunity to request sabbatical.

I further challenge that, regardless of professional qualifications, should a state employee with a schizoid personality disorder that leaves him unable to make normal social connections, results in poor judgment in practical matters and makes him a gullible target for con artists be in a position of authority and influence over young students, have access to millions of dollars of state-owned equipment and have gratuitous influence over the reputation of UNC-CH?

It is an abuse of state resources and a defect in the chancellor’s ability to protect the university, its students and alumni to continue this individual’s employment.

Jeanette Powell

Wake Forest

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