Now a days professors seem to care too little about the impact of their decisions on your grades and more about whether or not you follow every little tedious guideline they instruct. It’s almost like a machine churning up grade point averages or a computer doing redundant tasks. Where did the care for the students’ success go? Makes you wonder.
I feel professors have too much power over not only the grades they give you, but the way they treat you. I believe this happens when they achieve tenure. It’s like freedom from all the worries of being an upstanding professor and no more concern with what the student might do if rubbed the wrong way. Tenure is a process that is achieved from years, sometimes 10 years, of exhibiting academic success through the students they happen to teach, along with volunteering at the campus and research projects among other things. But is tenure really a good thing? Lets take a look.
Like I stated above, tenure is achieved through a rigorous feat and application process. When you receive tenure, a couple of things happen. It becomes virtually impossible to fire a professor, although it can be done. A professor is no longer held to a standard of teaching, that means you can act or teach or spread whatever opinion you so very well please. You have the up most authority over your grading process and you basically are allowed to make your own teaching agenda. Now that’s just the beginning. Does having tenure directly effect the way you teach? It doesn’t have to.
I think when you are no longer held to any set of standards, you begin to lose interest in what or how you teach. Gaining tenure is a long rigorous project on it’s own, and just being able to teach as a professor takes years of education itself. So by the time you even reach tenure, you have gone through maybe 16 years of crap. Yes I said crap. So you might also ask yourself, “but if someone goes through 16 years of crap to get to a point of tenure, isn’t it a good thing to have job security?” My answer has to be no. I can choose to go to school for 12 years and then do a residence for another 4 years to be a doctor and I wouldn’t get job security. Why should teachers? But that’s really not the point I am trying to make.
I am sick and tired of having my grade point average loom above me because of some professors who seemingly don’t give a hoot about it or how he or she might affect your academic progress. How many students have heard the ole’ tired threat of “I can have you kicked out of your major!”? I know I have, at least from 3 professors. What does that say? Too much power, not enough concern. It is hard enough as it is to even get into college, and then your major of choice, and they know this. Then on top of that, if a professor wants to kick you out you have to go through the process of appealing that argument. You do. Not the professor, but you. If you want to challenge a grade you have to go through the process of appealing that grade. You do. Not the professor, but you. So what do most students do? Give up, because it seems too hard or they just don’t know what to do.
So what would be the easiest way to alleviate this issue that we all go though? Get rid of tenure. Maybe it will bring back the life in professors, the passion to teach, the will to care about their students instead of just being another face. If it doesn’t then fire those professors. Either that or tenure should be divided into blocks of years, like 4 year tenure blocks. Then after four years, you get reevaluated. That way you get the job security but you also keep the passion. I mean heck, even the president is replaced every four years.
With that being said, I challenge my fellow student body to think about this and take action if you feel like you have been treated a certain way. This isn’t a call to arms to start a uprising against professors or the people in authority but just a call for concern. We as students are the number one entity that not only funds this or any other college, but funds the professors salary, sports programs, the SGA, and anything else you can probably think of. So I’m just saying be aware and be concerned with how you are treated. Because you have a right to be.