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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Sunday, July 03, 2005
William Plater's column in the Star
Posted 4:06 PM by Luke
IUPUI's Executive Vice Chancellor, William Plater, gave his view of the Bradford-tenure affair in today's IndyStar. In that column he writes:
After reading the [Holladay] column, some readers concluded that Professor Bradford has been denied tenure at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, which is not so. Professor Bradford has not presented his case for tenure. He is not yet eligible. There has been no vote on tenure.

Unfortunately this statement presents an incomplete view of the situation, which is never rectified in the remainder of his column, and thus misleads the Star's readers. While Bradford has not formally applied for tenure, an informal straw poll was taken in which 5 faculty tenure review members voted against tenure for Bradford.

Plater states that Bradford was ineligible for tenure, but he gives no explanation of this statement. If Bradford really was ineligible, then I invite Mr. Plater to explain to the IU Law community why this is the case, citing official written tenure review policy.

In the absence of ineligibility, the question remains open as to the reason for the 'no' votes against Bradford. And if the reason is merely that Bradford had not been at IU Law-Indy long enough, then I suggest a change of IUPUI/IU Law's tenure review policy-- informal or formal. Any system that prioritizes length of professorship over amount of scholarship is confused.

On a final note, I must say that I am disappointed with the Star for running this column, or at least for running it without a counterpoint. Its Sunday readers will have a dramatically incomplete version of the facts, if they have not read other pieces on the story. Also, I suggest that they clearly state a person's institutional position in the by-line and not after the column, so that the readers know clearly that what they are about to read represents a defense of an institution and not a person's own critically valued ideas.

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