publication date: Apr. 25, 2014


Zhengxin Wang and Kapil Mehta, two faculty members denied tenure renewal by
MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, despite unanimous recommendation by the
MD Anderson Promotions and Tenure Committee.

A year before Kapil Mehta’s tenure term expired last August, the 11-member Promotions and Tenure Committee at MD Anderson Cancer Center had unanimously recommended renewal.

“I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do during my tenure,” Mehta said to The Cancer Letter. “I’ve done publications, organized international meetings, service, teaching—everything.”

Mehta’s application was personally rejected by MD Anderson President Ronald DePinho, who overruled the PTC recommendation in May 2012.

Mehta appealed, and a second committee—the Faculty Appeals Panel—endorsed the PTC’s recommendation to renew Mehta’s tenure. However, the administration wasn’t swayed. DePinho’s decision stood.

Mehta, 63, a professor in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics and an MD Anderson employee for 30 years, said he was never given reasons for the rejection.

The vetoes of tenure renewals unanimously recommended by PTC aren’t limited to Mehta: DePinho’s presidential pen struck twice more over the following year, denying tenure to Zhengxin Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, and another faculty member, whose name hasn’t been publicly revealed.

All three received unanimous votes in 2012 and 2013.

MD Anderson offers seven-year “termed tenures,” which differ from indefinite tenures at other institutions. However, the initial requirements and review process for tenure applications are the same.

Continue reading 40-17 DePinho’s Nixing of Tenure Renewals May Bring Censure to MD Anderson

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