Posts Tagged ‘Southeastern Oklahoma State University’

I’m not sure what causes the popularity of things to spike on the internet, so I don’t know why this three-year-old article about Rachel Tudor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been making the rounds recently. Tudor was denied tenure by SOSU’s administration despite the support of her colleagues and her stellar publication record (the same semester she was denied tenure, she received an award for outstanding scholarship), apparently because she is trans and “Douglas N. McMillan, interim vice president for academic affairs reportedly said that Tudor’s “lifestyle” offend[ed] his Baptist beliefs.”

Tudor currently works at Collin College and a bit of internet sleuthing (i.e. spending three minutes on Google) revealed that the Equal Employment Occupation Commission found that her denial violated the Civil Rights Act and that when SOSU refused efforts at conciliation the case was forwarded to the Department of Justice, which is currently conducting an investigation. The fact that it has been three years and the case is still not resolved demonstrates how damaging the decisions of administrators can be for faculty members given the difficult job market (not to mention any geographic requirements that a faculty member may have after six years at an institution). McMillan, on the other hand, still works at SOSU as the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (a title that could cause his job to be eliminated if he worked at the University of Southern Maine). I hope that he continues to work there long enough to take the fall for his decision.

Among the many infuriating statements in the original article about Tudor was the fact that she was not allowed to reapply for tenure in her seventh year, stating “He said it would be a waste of the faculty’s time — although they were on board,” she said. “And it would enflame tensions between faculty and administration.” Although I understand that administrators sometimes need to do what they think is best for an institution despite disagreement from the faculty, administrators could reduce a lot of tension if they would just listen to faculty when they make recommendations that do not have a negative impact on a school’s bottom line. Supporting the hiring, tenure, and promotion decisions of the faculty would seem to be an easy way for administrators to show that they value the perspectives and expertise of the faculty. Refusing to do those things and then blaming members of the faculty for contributing to tensions on campus is inexcusable.

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