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November 20, 2009



It's worth noting that attaining 'indefinite status' for an academic staff member in the UW System (which McBride is) isn't just a matter of attaining tenure-like job security, it's also a matter of keeping one's job. UW System code requires that an academic staff member is 'non-renewed' if they are still in probationary status (the status leading to indefinite) after their 7th year.

More here.

And, actually, it's pretty rare that an academic staff member doesn't attain indefinite status, so the fact that it was such a close vote for McBride (and she felt the need to have an attorney 'represent' her in the process) is fairly telling.

Barry (not the Alvarez)

What's weird about this story is that McBride was represented by an attorney during the process (never mind it was her soon to be ex- husband). In 30 years teaching at the UW, I've participated in the awarding of indefinite status about a couple dozen times, and never once has a candidate had legal representation.


I'm just a lowly sous chef. Are lawyers SOP in tenure review?


No, really, it's not tenure. As the Journal Sentinel said, it's the equivalent -- for her job group. But that group goes first, before faculty, in the event of fiscal cutbacks.

Indefinite status is essentially just a recognition of years in the job -- and unlike tenure, a staffer doesn't have to go up for indefinite status after six years. Nor, if the indefinite status is refused, does a staffer have to leave the university. By contrast, faculty must go up for tenure within six years -- and if turned down, they have to leave.

Anyone ever heard of anyone getting turned down for indefinite status?

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