On Oct. 10, the Manatee County branch of the American Association of University Women voted unanimously to ask the Board of Trustees of State College of Florida to rescind its decision to eliminate the tenure program at State College of Florida.
We are a group of college-educated women dedicated to education, its betterment and its furtherance. From the formation of our branch by Marge Kinnan in 1952, we have emphasized support for Manatee Community College and SCF, giving thousands of dollars in scholarships to students.
Unlike other branches, we believe in supporting community colleges as the incubators for further higher education. However, your decision on faculty tenure gives us pause, since it threatens the long tradition of academic freedom and does nothing to improve on an existing faculty evaluation system before awarding continuing contracts.
If the current evaluation system is inadequate to the task of weeding out the ineffective teachers who fail to remain current in their fields, to meet the needs of the students as expressed in their evaluations, and to find ways to motivate students to succeed, then fix the system. Don�t punish the teachers for your failure to identify the real problem.
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We ask that you convene a special committee of educators and business people who understand the problems that need to be addressed.
Your consideration of a �bid for your salary� proposal is an insult to professional educators, whose current salaries are already uncompetitive. Historically, the low bid has resulted in inferior products, buildings, and standards. Either SCF aspires to high standards, or it does not. We must question what your goal is in this proposal.
We in AAUW ask that you share your research or documentation that shows definitively that your proposal is warranted and that it would do anything other than destroy the quality of education at the State College of Florida.
Fay Murphy, AAUW Branch President Jane Cheatham, Branch Scholarship Chair Bradenton