ERIC Number: ED213347
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Rights in Conflict: The Secrecy of the Tenure Vote.
Douglas, Joel M., Ed.
National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions Newsletter, v9 n5 Nov-Dec 1981
Two court decisions regarding the right of secrecy of the tenure vote are analyzed: S. Simpson Gray v. Board of Higher Education, City of New York; and Dinnan, Blaubergs v. Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. In Gray, the Court found that faculty members serving on tenure committees could not be required to divulge how they voted and that a qualified privilege of academic freedom existed. The primary arguments raised by Gray centered upon the issue of unconstitutional racial discrimination. The Court concluded that the issues of disclosure must be balanced and adjudicated on an individual basis and decided that the confidentiality of the faculty peer review system needed to be protected. It was suggested that discovery of individual votes could have a substantial impact on expectations of confidentiality and, consequently, on the decision-making process that relates to granting or withholding tenure. In the Dinnan case, the Court reviewed the philosophic principles surrounding academic freedom as well as the legal requirements of disclosure. The Court held that open disclosure would help to promote responsible decision-making in tenure questions as it clearly sends the message to would-be wrongdoers that they may not hide behind academic freedom to avoid responsibility for their actions. Both professors Gray and Dinnan have filed appeals seeking to reverse the contradictory decisions of the federal courts. (SW)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, College Faculty, Confidentiality, Court Litigation, Decision Making, Disclosure, Higher Education, Legal Problems, Peer Evaluation, Tenure, Voting
National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions, Baruch College, 17 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: City Univ. of New York, NY. Bernard Baruch Coll. National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions.