The Board of Trustees voted last weekend to grant tenure to nine professors recommended by the administration. These professors will now hold the title "associate professor with tenure."
The trustees did not take up the tenure bids for two professors who were originally under consideration. One professor's tenure candidacy is still "in process," according to Dean for Academic Affairs Craig McEwen. He said he could not provide any additional details.
The Orient has also learned that the administration did not recommend to trustees another candidate who was up for tenure. McEwen said he could not confirm or comment on the situation.
"These are personnel decisions," he said. "These are confidential decisions."
According to McEwen, the nine professors who were granted tenure are:
-Mark Battle from the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Battle's research interests include atmospheric composition and climate change.
-Aviva Briefel from the Department of English. Briefel is known on campus for being an expert on horror films?along with Victorian literature?and was selected by the Class of 2006 to give this semester's Karofsky Faculty Encore Lecture.
-Jorunn Buckley from the Department of Religion. She is an historian of religions and uses a comparative perspective, according to her web site.
-Elena Cueto-Asin from the Department of Romance Languages. Cueto-Asin teaches Spanish and researches contemporary Spanish theater and film.
-Songren Cui from the Department of Asian Studies. Cui teaches Chinese and recently published a textbook on using the Chinese language in business.
-Katherine Dauge-Roth from the Department of Romance Languages. Dauge-Roth teaches French and was selected in 2005 as the recipient of the Sydney B. Karofsky Prize for Junior Faculty. That award is given by the dean of academic affairs and is based on student evaluations.
-James Mullen from the Department of Visual Arts. He is a painter and is represented by the Sherry French Gallery in New York.
-Arielle Saiber from the Department of Romance Languages. She teaches Italian literature.
-Krista Van Vleet from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Van Vleet teaches anthropology and researches kinship and gender among Andeans in Bolivia, according to her web site.
While the Board of Trustees is the body that officially grants tenure, faculty and administrators undertake a yearlong process in private before making recommendations to the board. The professor's academic department, the Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure, the dean for academic affairs, and the president examine the candidacies and make recommendations.
"In all cases, the president's recommendation is the final recommendation," McEwen said.
"If there is a negative decision, that stops at the president," he said. The decision will not move to the trustees.
Positive recommendations are considered by two trustee committees before being referred to the full Board of Trustees for a final vote. As reported in last week's Orient, that final vote does not usually waver from the previous recommendations and is considered somewhat celebratory.
Candidates for tenure are expected to show excellence in the areas of teaching and scholarship.
"People need to have achieved in both," McEwen said. He noted that a candidate could not demonstrate only an excellent teaching record or only an an excellent research record.
According to the faculty handbook, contributions made to the College community are subservient to these two requirements.
A professor is typically a candidate for tenure during his or her sixth year of service at Bowdoin. The rank is a near guarantee of lifetime employment. According to the College's by-laws, "Tenure shall exist as a safeguard of academic freedom and may be terminated only for reasons of gross neglect of duty, serious misconduct, or physical or mental incapacity."