Popular Econ Professor Denied Tenure

Ben Johnson

The recent decision by the University to deny tenure to Assistant Professor of Economics Marc Tomljanovich, a well-respected and well-liked professor, has led to student outcry and has highlighted a divide present between the students and the administration. “Why deny a professor tenure who is backed by both his peers and his students?” Senior Economics major Uli Riebe said. The main complaint by Reibe and many other students is that they feel there has been a breakdown in the tenure process. Specifically, student input and departmental support seem to have gone unnoticed by the administrative board who oversees the tenure process. Many see Professor Tomljanovich as a great asset to the Colgate community and the students he has affected in the classroom. His impact has been felt by students of all class years. Last semester, Professor Tomljanovich led a freshman seminar, Introduction to Economics, which was highly successful.”Professor Tomljanovich is the type of teacher that you respect in a big brother sort of way. He brings a level of comfort and casualness to the classroom that facilitates discussion, questions, and active contribution,” sophomore and former member of Professor Tomljanovich’s freshman seminar Stephanie Tan said. These qualities helped the freshmen transition into the college lifestyle and engaged students who would not normally be interested in the feild of Economics. In addition, throughout the semester Professor Tomljanovich invited the class to his home for dinner and had various study sessions at the Barge, which enabled the students to develop a strong relationship with him. Another class that has been very popular among Economics students is Professor Tomljanovich’s Financial Markets class that offers an in-depth look into the stock and bond markets. An important aspect to this class is that at the end of the semester students have the opportunity to take a field trip to Wall Street and visit with Colgate alumni that work in finance in order to observe firsthand how capital markets work and to form contacts with alumni. Professor Tomljanovich is also the leader of the London Economics Study Group that departs for London next spring. Sophomores have recently been chosen for the trip and are excited for the experience. Unfortunately, this study group and other experiences students gain from having class with Professor Tomlijanovich are in jeopardy as, without tenure, he will be forced to leave Colgate within the next year. Students agree, Professor Tomljanovich, has the unique ability to get to know each and every student in the class on a personal level. As a result, students are motivated and engaged to learn in his classes. “There is no other professor that I connect more with at Colgate than Professor Tomljanovich,” senior Andy Colbert said. Professor Tomljanovich is seen as an integral part of the Economics Department. All his students agree that the Economics Department will suffer a great loss if Professor Tomljanovich is not allowed back. There is an overwhelming sentiment among students that Colgate should re-evaluate the tenure process. Students who wish to show support for Professor Tomlijanovich will be attending President Chopp’s office hours on Tuesday, February 1, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm located in the James B. Colgate Admissions Building.