The university promoted or granted tenure to nine members of the faculty over the summer. They promoted four of those to full professor.
Moving to full professor from associate professor were Dr. Fred Aquino in the Graduate School of Theology, Dr. Neal Coates, chair of the Department of Political Science, Kenny Jones in the Department of Art and Design, and Dr. Ron Morgan in the Department of History. Moving to associate professor from assistant professor were Dr. Pauline Bjorem in the Department of Music, Dr. Brad Crisp, director of the School of Information and Technology, Dr. Jamie Goff, chair of the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, and Dr. Sheila Jones in the Department of Exercise Science and Health.
In addition, Bjorem, Crisp, Goff and Jones, as well as Dr. Gary Bailey, chair of the Department of Conflict Resolution, received tenure.
Each year, ACU teachers apply for promotions to obtain a new title. The titles are instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor. Each title represents a different rank of academic hierarchy and includes a pay raise. Teachers usually come into the university as an instructor or graduate student teacher and work their way up to a title. Those with doctorates or terminal degrees in their field typically enter as assistant professors. Faculty must meet specific criteria set by the university and varying department-specific requirements to receive a promotion.
Tenure refers to a senior academic’s contractual right not to have his or her position terminated without just cause. ACU Promotion and Tenure Guidelines and Procedures describes tenure as the preservation of academic freedom and, to some degree, academic security. Tenure at ACU is also labeled as a “goodness of fit” with the university which is met with three criteria. The faculty member must be committed to the mission of the university, be a member of the Church of Christ and be accomplished in teaching, scholarly activity, service and collegiality.
“We’re very proud of our professors who achieved tenure and promotions this year,” said vice provost Ken Cukrowski.
Aquino, tenured professor of theology and philosophy, said the university did not require him to achieve the highest academic rank but wanted to anyway.
“I like being a professor,but I didn’t feel compelled to get promoted,” said Aquino, who earned his Ph.D in systematic theology from SMU and began teaching at ACU in 1998. “I just enjoy it. In fact, the paper work was the last thing I wanted to do.”