Professors receive promotions

Madeline Ajack, Staff Writer

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The Board of Regents announced last week the appointment of tenure and full professorship to several faculty members.

Those receiving tenure are Assistant Professor of Anthropology Anita Carrasco, Assistant Professor of Classics Dan Davis, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Kyle Fey, Assistant Professor of English Andy Hageman, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Thomas Johnson, Assistant Professor of Nursing Angela Kueny, and Assistant Professor of Education Jodi Meyer-Mork.

Those who are being promoted to Full Professorship are Associate Professor of Philosophy Storm Bailey, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies Jon Jensen, Associate Professor of Chemistry Olga Michels, Associate Professor of Physics Todd Pedlar, Associate Professor of Music and college organist Gregory Peterson and Associate Professor of German Soeren Steding.

“Tenure is an invitation to contribute what I can to Luther College in the ways that I can,” Hageman said. “Before tenure [professors are] always maintaining networks and planning for the possibility that something might happen. Being tenured means I’ll be freer to take public positions on policies and procedures of the college without worrying about potential reprisals.”

Carrasco said those awarded tenure view it as a way to express their thoughts and opinions without the fear of losing their jobs.

“I can express my general ideas without fear of retaliation,” Carrasco said. “It’s protecting my academic freedom of speech. They reviewed my publication productivity and service to the college. Now I am no longer under scrutiny and my academic freedom is protected.”

Before tenure, professors are subjected to annual evaluations that judge their teaching quality, ongoing research, and service to the college. The tenure process begins with a recommendation from colleagues to a committee of professors from various departments. Then the Dean of Faculty Development is then presented the case and brings it to the President. Together both parties then present the case to the Board of Regents.

Michels said full professorship offers both a raise and a life-long contract to the college.

“Being promoted validates my work,” Michels said. “There is an acknowledgment of my teaching, scholarship, and services —  I can now see that people really appreciate all my hard work.”

The Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion Committee (ATP) is the committee that recommends and evaluates different professors who wish to be awarded tenure and full professorship.

This year, promotions coincide with potential faculty cuts.

“This tenure promotion means more to me,” Carrasco said. “The college could have said, ‘We can’t afford you.’ It makes me feel very lucky. Even though we have these circumstances, we still got promoted.”

Hageman also commented on his tenure in the face of potential faculty cuts.

“I feel rather mixed,” Hageman said. “It’s hard to celebrate [the promotion] — getting it this particular year with Luther facing some significant challenges.”

However, Hageman also noted that he’s most excited to be able to continue working alongside his colleagues. 

“I came into this process with a cohort of other people,” Hageman said. “That part of it has been a real pleasure, seeing all of us thrive, this cohort of friends and colleagues who have worked hard and are being recognized for it by being granted tenure.”

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