46th Annual Society for Case Research & Global Jesuit Case Series Summer Workshop 2024

Experience level: 
Intermediate
Intended Audience: 
Faculty
Authors: 
Jim Joseph, Tracy Couto, Andy Borchers

The Trust Dividend: Return on Relationship Investing

In the fall of 2019, Dr. Anderson, Dean of the Business School, had a challenging tenure decision to make of Dr. Roberts. Roberts was on a shortened tenure time clock but had exhibited several “red flags” in his performance that seemed in conflict with the culture of trust and servant leadership that Anderson had been building in the business school for several years. Anderson asked to review Roberts’ most recent teaching evaluations. A consistent theme emerged that matched the students’ concerns about the Student Investment Fund course. He then made a few phone calls to deans and faculty that had worked with Roberts in the past. The feedback was overwhelmingly negative as was feedback from students. Worst still were research ethics challenges by non-tenured faculty claiming that Roberts pressured faculty to add his name to their research. At the same time, senior faculty saw Roberts in a different light, praising his research and service on academic committees. Anderson knew that something had to be done with Roberts’ tenure application. At the same time, he had promised junior faculty that he would protect their confidential feedback.