Exploring the Concept of Post-Tenure Review in Law Schools

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The article examines the considerations that must be addressed when evaluating whether to adopt a system of post-tenure review in universities generally, and at law schools in particular. This is an important issue today, in light of the mushrooming debate not only on accountability in education, but also on the viability of the concept of tenure itself. Part I of the article discusses the primary issues prompting the post-tenure review debate and explains the growing controversy. Part II explores the arguments articulated by faculty and administrators for and against post-tenure review. Part III presents theoretical models of post-tenure review and highlights prominent aspects of systems currently utilized in the United States. Part IV compares these theoretical models to the existing systems and considers how post-tenure review might be adapted to the unique milieu of the law school. Part V presents studies that have evaluated post-tenure review systems. Part VI discusses the kind of professors that post-tenure review might identify and suggests potential responses to deficient performance, including alternatives to post-tenure review.