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ICYMI: Professor of color wins grievance hearing after being denied tenure

April 2016 | Jennifer Warren, an assistant professor in the School of Communication and Information, will be able to apply for tenure next year after winning two out of three grievances. – Photo by Dimitri Rodriguez

School of Communication and Information assistant professor Jennifer Warren was granted another shot at tenure after her grievance hearing on April 15.

Warren was initially denied tenure in the 2014-2015 academic year, but filed for a grievance hearing, which allowed her to present her case to a panel of administrators. She is able to apply for tenure again during the upcoming academic year.

Initially Warren was denied tenure based in part on student evaluations, she told The Daily Targum.

This was a surprise to her as she typically receives positive reviews from her peers and her department.

Black Lives Matter and the American Association of University Professors – American Federation of Teachers took on the case, both of which lobbied to have it be heard by the University.

A protest was held on April 12 as part of these efforts. While Warren initially said she did not believe race played a factor in her being denied tenure, the protest was called “Challenging Institutionalized Racism.”

In a letter to The Daily Targum, Warren pointed out that only one professor of color at the School of Communication and Information had tenure, and that professor earned among the lowest salaries of tenured professors within the school.

Seventeen professors of color have applied for tenure since University President Robert L. Barchi first came to Rutgers, said Rutgers spokesperson E.J. Miranda. Warren was the only one to not be granted tenure since then.

Barchi said racial bias does not play a factor in determining tenure, and that the school will release aggregate data on tenure promotion to show the Rutgers community so.

"Building and expanding upon our faculty’s diversity is an institutional priority at Rutgers University," Miranda said in a statement at the time. "The University is proud of its track record for awarding tenure to African-American faculty candidates."

This article is part of our Spring 2016 Perspectives edition. Find the full issue here.

Nikhilesh De is a School of Engineering junior. He is the news editor of The Daily Targum. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.

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