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Off the beaten track
In April 2010, University lectur-
-ers erupted in protest after Kirsten
Herold, then vice president of the
was not reappointed to her position
as a lecturer in the Department of
English Language and Literature
a post she'd heldfornS years.
'i Herold has since been hired as
a lecturer in the School of Public
Health, but she said being a lectur-
er can be shaky territory.
"The department can just say,
'Sorry, it's not working out,' and let
you go," Herold said.
Lecturers, who comprise 16 per-
cent offaculty in LSA, are not hired
on the tenure track. Instead they
have fixed-length contracts that
can be renewed or not.
According to Herold, most lec-
turers have Ph.D.s and are experts
in theirfield. But there's a hugegulf
between lecturers and professors in
terms ofjob security, responsibili-
ties and salary.
The typical baseline salary for
lecturers is $33,000, which is less
than Ann Arbor Public School
teachers, who generally make
$60,000 to $70,000, according to
Por that reason, Herold said it's
in the financial interest of the Uni-
versity to hire lecturers as opposed
Mo tenured professors.
According to Herold, there's'
about a 25 percent annual turn-
over among lecturers. She said
many people leave because a part-
ner or spouse needs to move, while
others realize the career is a "dead
From Page 5C
She added that most people who pursue careers in
academia aren't satisfied with just a paycheck.
"So much satisfaction from your job comes from
these intangibles like the rewards you get for publish-
ingand the rewards you get for teaching," Poe said.
It's these kinds of rewards, Poe said, that impel
faculty down the tenure track.
"If all they wranted was money, they would do
something else that makes more money," Poe said.
Still, for the professors who've developed into
"dead wood" - or stopped publishing or conduct-
ing research - Poe said a process exists wherein the
department chair will ask the professor to teach
more classes to make up for the dearth of research
Poe said Medical School faculty are particu-
larly motivated to continue research, because their
research is dependent on grants. Thus, if a profes-
sor in the Medical School decides to slack off on
research, he or she would be left without a source of
funding, and consequently, without a lab.
"If I'm not doing science, then my lab would be
taken away," Poe said. "Everybody working for me -
if I'm not supportingthem on my grants - goes away.
I'm just left with an office."
ARE LONGER PROBATIONARY PERIODS
HELPFUL OR FRUSTRATING?
Though an assistant professor typically has eight
years to make tenure, the regents voted to extend
that period to 10 years last April.
But the decision to actually implement that exten-
sion was left up to each school and college. So far, none
have extended their probationary period to 10 years.
In an e-mail sent to faculty before the change was
passed, University Provost Philip Hanlon wrote the
reasons for the extensions were centered around
giving extra time for Medical School faculty to get
their research up and running, as well as providing
more flexibility to faculty in two-career and single-
The change has been both supported and con-
Whitman agreed that the extension would be
beneficial for certain disciplines, but other faculty
members are skeptical of the motivations behind the
change and fear there could be unintended negative
Poe said though the Medical School was the driv-
ing force behind the extension, the other schools
and colleges likely won't adopt the change because
the longer the probationary period, the longer some-
one "stews in hot water" and the longer "the agony of
trying to prove yourself to your peers."
Poe said one of the main concerns about the two-
year extension is that the expectations for tenure
track faculty would become greater because they
would have more time in the probationary period.
While a researcher might typically be expected
to publish 25 papers in seven years, Poe said that if
researchers now had nine years to obtain tenure, the
expectation would increase to about 35 papers.
"It's just prolonging the agony," Poe said.
Poe added that extending the probationary period
could be a potential problem for recruiting faculty.
"When the University of Michigan is competing
for faculty with other universities that have shorter
tenure clocks, those other universities will win if
ours is too long," Poe said. "In order to remain com-
petitive with our peer institutions, we need to have
similar clock lengths."
STAYING ON TRACK
Obtaining a Ph.D. seems to be only the first step
toward securing the independence associated with a
full professor position. Prospective tenure-track fac-
ulty must battle through probationary periods, form
reviews, evaluations and clock extensions in order to
earn their place among the leaders and best.
According to Jeffery Frumkin, associate vice
provost for academic and faculty affairs and senior
director of academic human resources, this is
because tenured faculty are hired in ordertto advance
the University's academic mission, both in research
and in teaching.
"It is the tenured faculty that really set the stan-
dards of what excellence means at the University,"
(Hammer: From 4C)
School were able to prevent him
from obtaining tenure.
In the Law School, a two-thirds
majority faculty vote is required to
put someone up for tenure. In Ham-
mer's case, faculty voted 18-12 in
favor - two votes shy of the requi-
site number of2o.
According to Hammer, in depo-
sitions under oath, faculty mem-
bers who'd voted against him
obscured their views on issues
In August 2010, the Michigan
Court of Claims tossed out Ham-
mer's claim of sexual orientation
discrimination, according to a
Sept. 15, 2011 litigation report to
Last July, the court also dis-
missed Hammer's claim that the
University failed to provide him
adequate notice of his non-reap-
pointment, according to the liti-
Since 2003 Hammer has taught;
at Wayne State University, where
he's a tenured law professor.
But Hammer said he won't
abandon his case against the Law
School and is currently in the pro-
cess appealing both decisions.
"Institutions need to be held
accountable when they violate
your rights,".Hammer said.
Inan e-mail interview, University
spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald wrote
that the University didn't commit
any violations, an assertion he said is
proven by the court's rulings.
"The University does not
believe it violated Prof Ham-
mer's rights," Fitzgerald wrote.
"More importantly, neither did
Wednesday, 2012 3C
random student interview
by laura argintar / illustrations by jeff zuschlag
W elcome to the Ran- me about auditions in Ann Arbor,
dom Student Inter- so I instantly agreed to going '
view, where we with her.T
trivialize your life with obvi-
ous illustrations. That's pretty cool - what was
interviewing like? What ste- Wow, that's very misleading.
Hey, you look like you're not reotype were you trying to play But they do at this artisanal sau-
going anywhere or doing any- into? sage place off State Street, called
thing fun. Wanna have some It was at the Holiday Inn. It was Biercamp. Delicious.
good conversation? just me, the casting director and a
Actually, I was planning on making video camera in a room. I played I've never heard of that either.
a phone call during my study break. an exaggerated version of myself: The place is a real gem.
the blonde hair, big boobed, party
girl who's boy crazy and will fight Then I'm sorry we're about to
off anyone for my man! exploit that in The Statement.
With all you know about the
< ) school and Ann Arbor, how are
/ you ever going to find new things
you haven't heard of or done
Well, why not talk to me instead? before?
Are you going to use my name in There is always more to uncover
this? and each experience is different
the top stories of 2011
Beginning July 15, a string of six sexual
assaults occurred in various areas around
campus. As of today, the Ann Arbor Police
Department is still searching for suspects.
Nope, just your first name and
Or you could do my Spanish name!
Haha, nice alias. So, do you have
any New Year's resolutions?
Yes, of course - my New Year's res-
olution determines my entire year.
I am one of those people who actu-
ally keeps it. Like this past year, it
was to jump on every opportunity
that came my way.
That's a lot of pressure to put on
yourself. So what kinds of things
did you do?
I auditioned for "The Real World"
and made it to the second round
of interviews. My friend had told
A.k.a. the life of the party and
the one who always gets the most
camera time. I like the angle and
strategy! So what's your New
Year's resolution going to be for
I think it's time I come to terms
with reality, and being in the real
world. But more specifically, it's to
experience Ann Arbor for all its
worth. I want to explore and go on
adventures at Michigan.
Agreed. I'm a senior and I'm still
learning new places to explore
and eat and go to. Like appar-
ently there's this place - Grange
- that's a farm-to-table style
restaurant, and I had no idea.
I've been to that restaurant! You
really need to go.
Oh man, OK, first on my bucket
The restaurant workers at Grange
don't dress up in farm clothes
with new friends. I heard there
was this Ethiopian restaurant
where you eat with spongy bread
and slop up the food with your
I am also looking to go mechanical
bull riding, if you know a spot.
There used to be at some of
the football pregames or a
club called 5th Quarter. They
might've taken it away though.
Then I do not know what I'm going
to do with these cowboy boots and
hat I just bought.
Now see, wasn't this more fun
than your phone call?
-"Carmen" is an LSA sophomore.
Ann Arbor-based Borders announced its
plans to liquidate July 18, closing the doors of
399 stores and laying off more than 10,700
Total faculty in department: 377
Total faculty in department: 911
George Clooney came to Ann Arbor March
20 to film scenes of his political drama "The
Ides of March."