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The following is CSI Queen Marlene Springer’s letter explaining her reasons for denying tenure to Professor Clark

December 26, 2000

Dear Professor Clark,
I am responding to your request for a statement of my reasons for not recommending your reappointment with tenure effective September 1, 2001.
As a candidate for reappointment with tenure you were recommended by the Department of Political Science, Economics and Philosophy and the College Personnel and Budget Committee. I notified you of my decision not to recommend your reappointment with tenure, and you appealed directly to me. You have also asked for a statement of my reasons pursuant to section 9.9 of the collective bargaining agreement.

I write to inform you that having considered your appeal, I am not recommending your reappointment with tenure effective September 1, 2001. I write also to provide you a statement of my reasons.

The Statement of the Board of Higher Education on Academic Personnel Practice sets forth the criteria for reappointment with tenure; they are teaching effectiveness, scholarship and professional growth, and as “supplementary considerations,’ service to the institution and to the public.

I have examined your record in light of each of these criteria, and it is my judgment that your candidacy does not support a positive recommendation with respect to scholarship and professional growth.

The Statement provides in pertinent part as follows:
2) The criteria upon which decisions to tenure are based shall be as follows:

b) Scholarship and Professional Growth -Evidence of new and creative work shall be sought in the candidate’s published research or in his instructional materials and techniques when they incorporate new ideas or scholarly research. Works should be evaluated as well as listed, and work in progress should be assessed, when work is a product of a joint effort, it is the responsibility of the department chairman to establish as clearly as possible the role of the candidate in the joint effort.

You received your Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Graduate Center of The City University of New York in 1994 and were appointed to a tenure-track position at the College of Staten Island in 1996. Your most recent curriculum vitae presents under the rubric “refereed publications,” two “refereed articles,” of which the more recent was published after your appointment in fall 1996.

“ Except in Emergencies: AMA Ethics and Physician Autonomy,” appeared in the journal Cambridge Quarterly
of Healthcare Ethics in Summer 1996 (4 pp.)

“ The Art of Science: Quine and the Speculative Reach of Philosophy in Natural Science,” appeared in the journal Dialectics: International Review of Philosophy of Knowledge in 1998 (16 pp.).
Your curriculum vitae presents further three works that you define as ‘chapters in books,” of which one has appeared to date.

“ Liberal Education Naturalized: The Facts About Values,” appeared in Vol. VII of the series Busi- ness Education and Training University Press of America, in 2000 (8 pp.).
Thus, your total published record under your rubric “refereed” consists of two articles and one, as you define it, “chapter in book.”

You note also two “chapters” as forthcoming: “Active and Passive Euthanasia: On Letting an Issue Die,” stated to be “forthcoming fall 2001” by the volume editor, and “What Good is Consent? Reflections on Decisions at the End of Life,” for which I am informed of neither a publisher nor a publication date. These are scheduled to appear, like ‘Liberal Education Naturalized: The Facts About Values,” in compilations of selected papers drawn from conferences at which you presented. In my judgment, such “chapters” in collective volumes drawn from conferences carry less scholarly weight than journal articles.

In her memorandum following the annual evaluation conference held on December 2, 1998 for the year 1998 1999, the then chairperson of your department, Professor Robin Carey, provided you guidance and advice concerning expectations of your progress as you approached candidacy for reappointment with tenure. Professor Carey set forth the expectation of “one or two more accepted/published articles, in addition to progress on plans for the two series or book projects. She noted that this “minimal expectation would give [you] on average at least one refereed article accepted each year.

In making my judgment, I take note of the guidance offered to you by Professor Carey and conclude that the minimal expectations she described therein have not been met. Since the time of your annual evaluation conference with Professor Carey in December 1998, I observe that no new article has been “accepted/published.” One article is listed in your most recent curriculum vitae as submitted to the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.

Professor Carey’s additional expectations remain similarly unmet. One book project to which she refers, The Art of Science Quine and the Speculative Reach of Philosophy in Natural Science (its title was originally Meaning Skepticism and Truth in the Natural Philosophy of W V. Quine) appeared in your curricula vitae of February and October 1997, of 1998, and of 1999. In your 1998 curriculum vitae you describe this book project as follows: “The book builds from my dissertation, an article . . . , correspondence and two interviews with Professor Quine.” In that same curriculum vitae you refer to a second book, Rethinking Death Reviving Philosophy Perennial Issues of Philosophy in Physician Assisted Dying, as follows: “The book builds from two research grants received that were targeted toward the issue of assisted suicide and three articles, one forthcoming and the other two in preparation.”Your most recent curriculum vitae however, provides no indication of progress with regard to either of these book projects. In fact, it makes no mention of them at all.

In my judgment, the record demonstrates that scholarly projects represented by you as underway have too often failed to advance to completion. My observation is based not only on an examination of your curricula vitae but also on the post-evaluation conference memoranda of your chairpersons: Professor Carey twice lists as accepted for publication in Private and Public Values a “chapter” you entitled “Why Cartesian Skepticism is ‘unnatural’ .” I find no reference to this “chapter” in Professor Vasilios Petratos’ post-evaluation conference memorandum of the following year either under the heading “accepted” or the heading “published.” I note also that it appears nowhere on your most recent curriculum vitae.

The award of tenure is a commitment by an institution to an individual as a member of its permanent instructional staff. It is my responsibility as President to recommend to the Board of Trustees, as provided in the University Bylaws, “only those persons who [I am] reasonably certain will contribute to the improvement of academic excellence at the college.” It is my judgment that your accomplishments in bringing your research agenda to fruition have been insufficient to merit a recommendation for reappointment with tenure.

Marlene Springer, President
College of Staten Island

Next ==> Profesor Robyn Carey Responds to Queen Springer's Letter of Tenure Denial



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