Texidor Tells Story
On Wednesday, Radio Free Penn State interviewed Professor José Texidor. If you haven’t heard, Texidor has quite a controversy surrounding him, which was the subject of his interview. The whole thing started in July 2007 when Texidor received a letter from John McCarthy, head of the department of sociology and crime, law and justice questioning the difficulty of two of Texidor’s classes (CJ 100 and CJ 451).
The two courses had an average GPA of 3.6, as opposed to the 3.0 found in comparable classes taught by other professors. However, McCarthy only looked at statistical data and never looked into the coursework load or difficulty of the work assigned. Texidor seemed offended by the accusation, saying, “It was totally based on statistics; statistics and nothing but statistics.” Texidor offered for McCarthy to sit in on a class and for Schreyer Honor students to write evaluations to prove the difficulty of his classes.
Due to the findings, Texidor’s department decided to reduce the number of classes he taught from 5 to 4 with no pay reduction; however, keeping the same pay was contingent on not teaching world campus, PSU e-learning, web based courses, or anywhere else. Texidor had taught classes at the Sheriff’s Academy and in other departments (who paid him with their own budgets), and he incurred a $25,000 to $30,000 loss in income. He was upset that such plans had never been discussed with him, especially since he had been taking measures to help the grade situation, and he never had a chance to explain the steps he had taken.
Texidor interpreted the letter to mean he couldn’t take on jobs within the PSU community and began looking for a way to make up for the 25-30K loss. In Fall 2008, he began teaching at Lycoming College. Texidor was eventually placed on probation for breach of contract – despite having told McCarthy and Dean Welch a year earlier about his plans to teach at Lycoming and receiving no response.
He was then evaluated. The peer evaluators found Texidor’s classes to be challenging, despite the student’s above average grades. McCarthy then offered Texidor a one year contract, although he had asked for a three-year one; however, McCarthy said that the pair could discuss it come negotiations.
Sadly, Texidor will not be negotiating a new contract this year, as he will no longer be teaching at Penn State come this June. Students are obviously and openly upset about the beloved professors leave. They letters they’ve written and the measures they’ve taken to keep Texidor around are a true testament to this professor’s quality.
This 14-year lecturer continues to prove his worth by handling the controversy with class and is now on a mission to make PSU’s contract language clearer in order to prevent fellow staff members from suffering a fate similar to his. It’s abundantly clear that Prof. Texidor will be missed by many students.