Rashomon Phenomenon as it Relates to Tenure Committees


I felt extreme sorrow, angst, and sympathy for the professor who was denied tenure for unclear reasons. He received excellent student evaluations, was reliable, mixed well with students/colleagues/admins and accepted other duties as assigned without complaint.

I was reminded of Rashomon-Style stories where an identical event is given a different narrative by several individuals, and the accounts differ in ways that are impossible to make sense of or reconcile. For every person, there is a unique opinion, so the findings of Rashomon don’t come as a big surprise.

The aggrieved educator, named Drezner I believe, never really determined the reasons for his dismissal although it was probable that jealously, varying political views, and downright wickedness played a major role. Also the tenure committee surely had wildly varying accounts of Drezner’s skills as a teacher, completely consistent with the Rashomon phenomenon.

His wife was supportive of his tenuous mental state during the entire tenure rejection ordeal at an institution in Chicago I believe. She also deserves kudos for all she does for Asperger’s kids!


1 comment on “Rashomon Phenomenon as it Relates to Tenure CommitteesAdd yours →

  1. Wow, I am sure Juan J. Rojo would read this with great interest! Juan went the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission appeal process route I think. The assistant professor of Spanish at Lafayette College was extremely pissed off and fought his rejection like a tiger! He had tremendous support from his students, but not as much from his colleagues as I recall.

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