Guest blogger by James Ferguson
Working for the sacred cows, junior professors need the help of supervisors and senior professors to get renewed and tenured, senior professors can take advantages of that by asking junior professors to do the things that they have the rights not to do. Thus, the questions for junior professors: to kiss up or not to kiss up? If not to kiss up, to protest or not to protest? The question for the graduate programs: to offer the course, The Art of Kissing Up in Academia 501 or not to offer?
If you don’t kiss up, and even dare to protest, you can be retaliated against. As an unintended consequence, the brave talents are weeded out, and the less talented sheep are tenured. Fortunately, this is less likely to happen among top tier universities.
Among the pretext the universities proffer to retaliate against junior professors, student evaluation (ratings) of professors is the most effective. If the ratings are high, the universities not only can say that the professors teach well, but also can say that the professors lower standards, give easy graders, and bride students for high ratings; If the ratings are low, the universities can say that the professors have low teaching performance, but they can also say that the professors are known for their rigorousness and maintain high standards in their teaching profession.
Such an art of pretext is detailed in the case decided by the Second Circuit Court this month. The Second Circuit reversed summary judgment in the State University of New York (SUNY) retaliation case, which is the subject of a short article titled “Mucho pretext in SUNY retaliation case” at