Baldwin State University is located in Los Angeles, California and is required to accept California high school students who graduate in the top 20 percent of their class. The university is striving to enhance its image as a progressive, quality school. It is also trying to recruit top-notch faculty members.
Two candidates are finalists for a tenure-track position in the Mathematics Department of Baldwin State with a specialization in statistics. You, as a faculty member, must write a recommendation supporting the appointment of one of the finalists. Baldwin State’s guidelines for the appointment indicate that the university:
- is looking for an assistant professor who is both a teacher and a scholar.
- considers teaching, research, and university service (in that order), the criteria for promotion and tenure.
The first finalist is Ms. Margaret Jones, 26, who has just completed her doctorate in statistics from Yale University and graduated with highest honors. Jones received her B.A. degree from Oberlin College and her M.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, both degrees are in mathematics. She already has one year of full-time teaching experience in addition to three years as a Teaching Assistant. Her reviews from students are mixed and on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest), she averages a 2.85 on the question, “Rate the effectiveness of this instructor.” Although she is friendly, Jones has a nervous personality, talks rapidly, and tends to give answers which are longer than necessary when questioned. She holds regular office hours, but is generally unwilling to meet with students beyond those hours. Jones has co-authored three textbooks on mathematics and is currently working on her own book about statistics. She has assured the Mathematics Department of Baldwin State that she is eager to pursue her research agenda at the university.
Mr. John Smith is the other finalist. Smith is 30 years old and holds a doctorate in statistics from Oregon State University and a B.A. degree from Iowa State University where he majored in philosophy and economics. His M.A. degree was from the University of Washington-Seattle, where he majored in mathematics and took a minor in economics. Smith has three years of full-time teaching experience at the University of West Virginia and several years experience as a part-time lecturer and teaching assistant. His evaluations from students are exceptionally positive and they especially note his patience and willingness to spend extra time with them. His relaxed personality also encourages student participation in the classroom. Smith has thus far published two papers in respected journals and is co-authoring a textbook on statistics with applications to various fields. His research background is somewhat weak, but meets all university requirements.