Faculty tenure has been the subject of continuing concern and controversy in American higher education. Problems in this area, including the lack of definitive standards for evaluating tenure candidates, have been highlighted by the recent downturn in the economy and the resultant decline in both enrollment and employment in colleges and universities. This trend is actively demonstrated by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Mayberry v. Dees. This Article advocates and proposes a more exacting judicial review of faculty tenure cases that are based on collegiality or other such personality criteria. Initially, the operational context of faculty tenure cases will be reviewed. Next, an overview of the legal context for such cases, including the linked concepts of academic freedom and judicial abstention will be provided. Part III will present a summary analysis of the case law to date. Finally, Part IV will propose an approach to be utilized in place of that applied by the Mayberry court.
Perry A. Zirkel, Personality as a Criterion for Faculty Tenure: The Enemy It Is Us, 33 Clev. St. L. Rev. 223 (1984-1985)