Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Entitlement Test

There a good test for which law faculty have a sense of entitlement and should be sent on their way and which one do not. I am not sure at all that the distinction fall along class lines but there are many reasons it could.

Suppose you are teaching international dance law (This is fictional with respect to my own school a sfar a I know) and you consistently draw 5 students. You teach another course and it draws a whopping 7 students. In fairness, when the school hired you it knew these were your areas.

What is your reaction? For some the reaction it "I am not pulling my weight. What else might I add to my repertoire of courses." For others the reaction is "This is what I teach and it's not my problem if the students to do not care." In short, it does not occur to this person that there is any obligation to take on equal responsibilities even though not technically required to. Why? Because he or she has sense of entitlement.

If I could rewrite tenure and promotion guidelines, "pulling one's weight" would be near the top of the requirements. Please do not misunderstand, some courses must be offered and will be small enrollment. There is no reason that people teaching those courses could not volunteer to teach a larger enrollment course.

I realize that "pulling one's weight" is not part of most tenure and promotion guidelines. But scholarship is and, for me at least, the people who insist on their entitlement to very little student contact better have massive amount of scholarship -- and I do not mean updating casebooks or treatises --or for me it is a NO vote.

No comments: