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27 J.C. & U.L. 833 (2000-2001)
The Role of Collegiality in Higher Education Tenure, Promotion, and Termination Decisions

handle is hein.journals/jcolunly27 and id is 901 raw text is: THE ROLE OF COLLEGIALITY IN HIGHER
EDUCATION TENURE, PROMOTION, AND
TERMINATION DECISIONS
MARY ANN CONNELL*
FREDERICK . SAVAGE**
I. INTRODUCTION1
Courts have upheld the right of a college or university to consider a faculty
member's working relationship with his or her colleagues as a valid basis
upon which to make a tenure, promotion, or termination decision for many
years.2 However, the word collegiality was not the focus of court decisions
until 1981, when the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Mayberry v.
Dees3 introduced into higher education case law, seemingly with approval,
the defined concept of collegiality''4 as a distinct criterion upon which to
base tenure and promotion decisions.5
From the time of Mayberry on, provocative discussions and debates have
increased on college and university campuses and in the literature over the
appropriate role of collegiality in faculty tenure, promotion, and termination
* B.A., University of Mississippi, 1959; M.A., University of Mississippi, 1971; MLSci.,
University of Mississippi, 1972; J.D., University of Mississippi, 1977; LL.M., Harvard Law
School, 1991. Ms. Connell is General Counsel of the University of Mississippi and is a
former president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.
** B.A., Princeton University, 1969; J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1974.
Mr. Savage is Deputy General Counsel, Johns Hopkins University, and is a former
member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University
Attorneys.
1. The authors acknowledge that this paper is based significantly on two outlines
which they prepared for presentations at the Stetson University College of Law
Conferences on Law and Higher Education, February 14, 1998, and February 11, 2000.
They further acknowledge with appreciation the contribution Robert Dale Bickel,
Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law, made in recognizing the importance
of the subject of collegiality in higher education employment decisions and in encouraging
them to develop their work on this subject into this article.
2. See generally TERRY L. LEAP, TENURE, DISCRIMINATION, AND THE COURTS 107-
12 (2d ed. 1995).
3. 663 F.2d 502 (4th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 830 (1982).
4. The Mayberry court defined collegiality as the capacity to relate well and con-
structively to the comparatively small bank of scholars on whom the ultimate fate of the
university rests. Id. at 514. Collegiality has also been defined as cooperative interaction
among colleagues. RANDOM HOUSE WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY (1993).
5. Interestingly, the actual decision in Mayberry was that there was no basis to con-
clude that the plaintiff was denied tenure due to his exercise of First Amendment rights.
Collegiality was addressed by the court in a detailed discussion of tenure in response to the
apparent suggestion by Mayberry that if he had been a satisfactory teacher for five years,
he must be entitled to tenure. See Mayberry, 663 F.2d at 513. In addition, East Carolina
University, unlike most universities, also had an explicit reference in its policies on promo-
tion and tenure to the consideration of a faculty member's constructive relationship with
colleagues. Id. at 514.

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