Every spring when the birds and the bees make their glorious return to the Hanover plain, the letters of protest concerning tenure decisions make their annual return to the pages of The D. Some students express their disappointment over a specific department's decision to deny tenure to their favorite professor. Other students throw a party for their favorite professor who was granted tenure and who will be at Dartmouth to teach their grandchildren in the Class of 2070.
Some students' letters of protest are met with anger and hostility by members of the Dartmouth faculty who accuse these undergraduates of knowing little about the complex tenure process and who mock these students for their feeble attempts at challenging the College's decision. Some students even take their complaints all the way to the offices of the top administrators who oversee the tenure process and who we hope work wholeheartedly to maintain the integrity of the system.
For years Dartmouth has taken pride in its outstanding faculty members and the quality of their undergraduate teaching. Last year when Dartmouth received the number one ranking in U.S. News and World Report's category for best teaching it came as no surprise.
But for how long will we be able to maintain this reputation? How long will it be before the current administration strangles to death our curriculum with their politically correct agenda? Will students soon graduate from Dartmouth with little knowledge of biology or economics but with loads of hollow cliches fed to them by their militant and radical leftist professors? Will the College's top professors who focus on their teaching and research and who refuse to play the p.c. game eventually be pushed out the back door under the guise that their scholarship is insufficient?
One way to take note of these occurrences is to carefully observe which professors are being tossed out of which departments and what qualifications these departments are seeking in their replacement candidates.
Each fall the Modern Language Association publishes its Job Information List which highlights the various job openings at institutions throughout the country. I recently obtained a copy to see if there were any visible trends in the specific types of qualifications that various colleges were seeking. If so, were there specific departments within these colleges that made their agenda more obvious than others?
Here's just a taste of what's brewing in Dartmouth Hall:
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is seeking a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Latin American Popular Culture. To qualify, candidates should have "expertise in traditional popular forms, i.e. ritual, dance, performance, etc."
This department is also seeking a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Spanish Medieval Studies. It is required that candidates have interest in the study of "multiculturalism in Medieval Spain" and "feminist/cultural" interdisciplinary approaches to the study of medieval texts. The candidate must also be willing to work with other departments such as Women's Studies and Comparative Literature.
The Department of French and Italian is seeking a tenure-track Assistant Professor in French who specializes in theater and performance, Francophone African literature, Enlightenment or Queer Theory.
On the surface these characteristics appear to be sought after in an attempt to diversify these departments' curriculums and to enhance the liberal arts experience. However, one must take a closer look which will reveal that underlying all of these apparently harmless and trivial job opening qualifications lies an intellectually destructive political agenda.
Fortunately, not all academic departments on campus have fallen prey to this spreading sickness of filling department vacancies with persons who specialize in fields which would better suit them for becoming a clown in the Big Apple Circus. But ask yourself, how long will it be before the administration will be seeking a tenure-track biology professor who specializes in Queer ecology, homosexual monkey behavior, and rain dancing?