Tenure is the goal of most college and university professors. Tenure means that you are pretty much secured in your position unless the college or university has just cause to terminate your contract. In most bastions of high education, tenure is not considered until after the professor has served a minimum of seven years and in many cases not even then. There is no rule or law that states that a school has to offer tenure to all professors who served enough time.
Yesterday, I mentioned that Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren was offered tenure at Harvard after only 3 years, but that it was due to the school’s Affirmative Action program and had nothing to do with her qualifications. Her hiring and tenure happened at a time when Harvard was trying to beef up their women and minority staff and Warren was wrongly claiming minority privilege for allegedly being part Cherokee Indian.
While Warren’s tenure was real but undeserved, Obama’s tenure offer from the University of Chicago Law School was not real.
In 2008, Jodi Kantor, the White House Correspondent for the New York Times published a profile on Barack and Michelle Obama titled, The Obamas. In her expose on the occupiers of the White House, Kantor wrote:
“Other faculty members dreamed of tenured positions; [Obama] turned them down.”
In referring to the time just after Obama lost his bid for a congressional seat in 2000, Kantor wrote:
“The faculty saw an opening and made him its best offer yet: Tenure upon hiring. A handsome salary, more than the $60,000 he was making in the State Senate or the $60,000 he earned teaching part time. A job for Michelle Obama directing the legal clinic.”
On another occasion in 2008, Kantor refers to Dean Daniel Fischel and his offer of tenure to Obama. She wrote:
“When the law school tried to hire Mr. Obama after his failed 2000 congressional race, it was for a tenured job. In our interview, I asked [Fischel] if he meant ‘tenure-track,’ and he said no.”
The Daily Caller contacted Richard Epstein, a long time law professor at the University of Chicago Law School and interim dean in 2001 and asked if Obama had ever been offered tenure while there. Epstein said that Obama was never offered tenure and that he was never a constitutional law professor at the school. He stated:
“I have no idea where Jodi got her story.”
“Tenure offers require votes from faculties approved by the provost, and need a scholarly output. He was approached with the possibility of an entry level position without tenure, but it never got to the faculty for want of interest on his side.”
Epstein says he has contacted Kantor numerous times informing her that Obama was never offered tenure and wishes he had kept those emails he sent her from back in 2008. Sadly, Kantor continues to embellish the Obama legacy with inaccuracies, in spite of being informed of her errors.
What I find even more alarming is that neither Barack or Michelle Obama have spoken out to correct Kantor’s errors and depictions of their greatness. But then, they’ve never done much to squelch other lies and exaggerations of themselves if the lies and exaggerations make them seem able to run faster than a speeding bullet, leap tall buildings and walk on water.