publication date: Jul. 18, 2014
The American Association of University Professors has authorized a formal investigation of MD Anderson Cancer Center, a move that could result in censure.
The investigation was triggered by refusal on the part of MD Anderson’s administration to provide justification for denying tenure renewals to two faculty members.
The faculty members in question—Kapil Mehta and Zhengxin Wang—received unanimous votes in favor of renewal from the Faculty Senate Promotions & Tenure Committee, but the institution’s president, Ronald DePinho, ultimately decided not to extend their tenure (The Cancer Letter, April 25).
“Regrettably, our primary concerns remain largely unresolved, in particular, our concern about inadequate protections for academic freedom at the MD Anderson Cancer Center under its current policies,” wrote Gregory Scholtz, AAUP associate secretary and director of the Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance, in the July 15 letter to DePinho and University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.
A formal investigation is authorized only when all other methods of mediation by the AAUP staff have proved inadequate.
In an earlier letter to DePinho, Scholtz urged the MD Anderson president to immediately reinstate Mehta and Wang to their full-time appointments.
“Our further course of action in these cases will depend upon how you will act now,” Scholtz wrote (The Cancer Letter, May 16).
DePinho didn’t. In his reply May 13, he said that Mehta had received a non-renewal recommendation from his former department chair. … Continue reading 40-29 DePinho’s Handling of Tenure Dispute Triggers Formal Investigation by AAUP
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