by Erica Price
Geography professor Jake Gildenhauf is relieved tonight after resolution to one of the most controversial tenure review processes in Shiver State College history.
Trustees of SSC cast their votes on this professor’s tenure status with equal votes for and against. The typical tiebreaker, the chairperson of the Board, had recused herself from the voting due to the fact that the faculty member up for tenure review is her husband.
With votes at a standstill and the entire board deadlocked without tiebreaker options, the Provost recommended a drastic strategy that was unanimously approved by Board members.
“We needed something that would be objective in its focus and draw input from a wide variety of stakeholders in the process,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jean Eckel stated.
The Board decided to allow the tiebreaker vote to be based on the professor’s evaluations on popular site RateMyProfessors.com. Prior to reviewing Gildenhauf’s ratings, the Board agreed to consider the tiebreaker vote in favor of granting tenure if the overall rating was above the campus average and included at least one chili pepper (“hot”) rating.
“I did not raise any objections to the use of this website. We all know that students are posting their evaluations of faculty here all the time and I was confident that my husband Jake would get enough chili pepper ‘hot’ ratings to get through it well. After all, he’s pretty easy on the eyes,” stated Board of Trustees Chairperson Jacqueline Gildenhauf in a private interview.
When RateMyProfessors.com staff was contacted for comment, they had not yet learned of the new role their site played in the SSC tenure process. CEO Cheryl Schneider shares her excitement about the new partnership.
“An outstanding institution like Shiver State College is ideal to test the use of our site in faculty tenure review. Their faculty have always rated so highly on our site and SSC faculty have achieved the highest number of “hot” ratings of any campus in the Louisiana public college system. I am thrilled to learn of this new opportunity and may need to pay this campus a visit very soon,” said Schneider.
Faculty representatives were unable to be reached for comment due to conflicts with a mandatory faculty union meeting being organized to protest this Board of Trustees decision.
A search of recent public records indicates that since the favorable tenure decision was made, a certain J. Gildenhauf has filed for divorce. Reason stated: “Husband was hotter than expected.”