Prof. Lowry tenure memo

The Kudzu Kids got a copy of a memo Professor Lowry sent to the tenure committee

An Ole Miss faculty member gave a copy of this memo to my granddaddy, and he emailed it to me.

Granddaddy explained to me that when a professor has tenure, he has respect from his peers and is harder to fire.


TO: University of Mississippi Tenure Committee
FROM: Dr. CHARLES B. LOWRY, Professor of Civil War Studies
DATE: March 13, 2015
SUBJECT: The Continued Refusal of my Tenure Selection

Distinguished Members:

For four years now, I have been eligible for tenure at this fine academy, and upon every submission to your committee for consideration, my requests have been denied, ignored, and most likely ridiculed.

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With no explanation, no letter of regret, no respect and certainly no hope, I have been left to dangle in the wind as other professors of questionable stature and competence have claimed this distinction over me.

I have sat back in silence and watched it happen, but no longer will I remain at bay. I think the least that you owe me is an explanation for your refusal.

I implore you all: What does it take to get tenure at this university? Must I take lunch and tea with you all? Must I join your pretentious social circles and allow our children to associate? Must I visit every one of your offices and flatter and praise you where your students have failed to do so?

Must I discover a cure for paranoia? Must I discover buried gold on campus? Or must I keep my mouth shut and not allow my research and projects to overshadow all of your fine accomplishments at this university?

I recognize the unpopularity of many of my opinions, but is this not what keeps us going in an academic setting? Must we not question everything, suppose nothing?

If this is true — and regardless of your opinions, I know that it is — I should not hold my breath supposing my tenure will be approved. Perhaps I will do as you are all most hoping I will do: look for another job.

//Charles B. Lowry



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