Students protest tenure denial to historian Ronald Granieri





On Monday night, nine College seniors in the final stages of writing their honors theses gathered on the third floor of Van Pelt Library. They wanted answers.

The seniors are part of a 17-person History honors thesis class that is leading a charge to protest the tenure denial of their thesis seminar advisor, Ronald Granieri.

An assistant professor of modern European history, Granieri was recently denied tenure in his second and last chance to apply for the standing. He originally applied last year in his sixth year of teaching at Penn.

His students — many of whom call him a mentor, a friend and the best teacher they’ve had at Penn — say the University’s decision raises serious questions about its commitment to quality teaching.

“Over the past year and a half Professor Granieri for all of us has been the most amazing teacher, honors director [and] support mechanism,” said Aro Velmet, a College senior in the seminar. “It seems terribly puzzling that a professor who is this well respected by undergraduates, has won this many teaching awards, is under threat of leaving the University.”

School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rebecca Bushnell declined to comment because of the confidential nature of the faculty appointment and promotion process. The exact reason for Granieri’s tenure denial is unknown and is not likely to be available to the general public....

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