ERIC Number: ED400771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Tenure Issues in American Higher Education: An Overview.
Wales, Barbara A.
This report attempts to summarize recent attitudes toward and developments in tenure-related issues in American higher education. Modern academic tenure rests on the principles of academic freedom and economic security. Currently, public perceptions of the notion of tenure are often quite negative, with some critics charging that educators have become complacent about the value of academic freedom, and that the concept protects little except security of tenure and the "prerogative of frivolity." Tenure issues that appear repeatedly are: (1) the current necessity of tenure for the protection of academic freedom; (2) the view of tenure as simple job security; (3) the question of whether tenured faculty produce less than their colleagues; (4) the relationship of tenure to the demise of mandatory retirement; and (5) tenure as a possible source of institutional inflexibility. The paper describes possible alternatives to the current tenure system, including: research and teaching dual-track tenure systems; five-year contracts with extra financial incentives; better working conditions; tenure contracts negotiated at hiring and designed to fit the accomplishments and capabilities of the individual and projected long-term needs of the institution; and post-tenure reviews. (Contains 22 references.) (MAH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A