Following the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, an English professor at Fresno State University tweeted that she was pleased that Mrs. Bush died. After receiving a lot of blowback from students and others on the social media site, Professor Randa Jarrar proceeded to antagonize the fight. She tweeted back at students and others who claimed that they were going to call the university and complain about her statements. “You can try all you want,” Jarrar tweeted. “I will not be fired.” Jarrar even tagged the university’s president in one tweet as she fought with people on social media. Jarrar was not fired because she was a tenured professor and is protected by her right to free speech. With all due respect, there is a different between speaking freely and being a jerk. Jarrar has every right to speak her mind, but the way in which she did was embarrassing for Fresno State as an institution. If she weren’t tenured, she most likely would not have a job right now. Tenure does serve some good, offering job security to professors who truly do benefit the education system. However, the tenure system equally protects bad teachers. There are professors at every institution, including Seton Hall, who do not deserve their tenured status. When bad professors receive tenure, they become cocky and have almost an air of invincibility about them. Some become entitled and stop caring for students and their educations, knowing that it is extremely difficult to fire a tenured professor. Student and faculty complaints can be made against bad professors, yet it is rare that any resolution will come from those complaints. Some schools, like the State College of Florida, have scrapped the tenure system altogether. Though this may not be the perfect result for the tenure issue, Seton Hall and other institutions need to develop a proper system that deals with professors who not longer deserve their tenure. The Voice is intended to best represent the collective opinion of The Editorial Board. It is written by The Setonian’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.
Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate tenure rules