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Professor Todd needs to live up to his contract

By Wildcat Online Board
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday Apr. 19, 2002

Political science senior lecturer Jim Todd has been put on notice: Live up to your contract or leave. We have no sympathy for the situation the man has brought entirely upon himself.

"I resent, at 16 years of service, being told that I should publish and that I'm somehow inferior for not publishing," Todd said in Wednesday's Wildcat. Resentment or not, the faculty guidelines revolve around research for a reason. Research is a vital part of this institution.

A teacher that researches opens new doors to not only himself, but to the students he teaches. Just as in any career, the more one knows in his field, the better he will be at his job.

A knowledgeable and diverse teacher is the best teacher.

If Todd was unprepared to publish, he should never have accepted his position at UA. The fact that he has been here for 16 years is irrelevant. He has to follow the rules just as everyone else does. If he was only interested in teaching and not doing the necessary research, he should have chosen to teach a high school course where publishing is not required.

Obviously, Todd is a well-respected, admired and valuable asset to UA's political science department. Numerous letters have poured into the Wildcat over the past week in Todd's defense.

Students have rushed to voice their displeasure with the powers that be over the recent ultimatum given to Todd.

The overwhelming message here is that the senior lecturer needs to publish within the year in which he was told. Not doing so would be a selfish action on his behalf in that he would be letting down all the students who hold him on a pedestal.

Furthermore, not living up to his contract would set a bad example to all students, as we are all required to live up to the expectations of our academic "contract." All of us have to take a certain number of general education courses in order to graduate.

If we happen to miss even one necessary GenEd class, the argument, "Well, I've been here and worked hard for four years, so I shouldn't be treated this way" would not fly. Likewise, it will not fly in Todd's case - and rightfully so.

The brain drain has already hurt this university in a major way, and it would be a shame to see a quality instructor like senior lecturer Todd lost to something like this. And maybe the publishing requirement is unfair and should be re-evaluated. Right now, that's all irrelevant. Todd needs to follow the rules that he has been aware of all along. He must fulfill his contractual obligation just as all his coworkers must.

If he does not, UA will be wholly justified in letting him go. All the sentimentality and petitioning to let him stay will not help him unless he takes care of his own business.

Todd does not need to be saved. He needs to save himself.


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