ERIC Number: ED424824
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Alternatives to Tenure for the Next Generation of Academics. New Pathways: Faculty Career and Employment for the 21st Century Working Paper Series, Inquiry #14.
Breneman, David W.
This paper, one in a series about the priorities of the professoriate, is premised on the belief that academic tenure in higher education, if not doomed, is likely to play a diminishing role in the employment of college and university professors in coming generations. The paper argues against the belief that institutions of higher education have a privileged position in U.S. society that implies higher education should be treated as a unique entity. Instead, it suggests that institutions have become more entrepreneurial, with market forces operating on them in powerful ways. Financial trends have created a widening gap in available resources, with richer institutions getting richer and those less well off falling behind. And, in the field of medicine, forces outside the university have reshaped the economic relationships that governed compensation for doctors and hospitals. Given these factors, would-be academics might favor a diversity of employment arrangements rather than an employment-reducing system of universal tenure. An alternative to tenure that is more in line with those in other professions is presented, with the caveat that tenure may be necessary where faculty members devote themselves to specialized careers. Wage differentials for tenure-track and nontenured positions are suggested; and some of the problems to be overcome are outlined. (CH)
Descriptors: Academic Freedom, College Environment, College Faculty, Educational Economics, Educational Trends, Employment Patterns, Employment Practices, Faculty College Relationship, Higher Education, Institutional Autonomy, Nontenured Faculty, Professional Autonomy, Quality of Working Life, Tenure, Tenured Faculty
American Association for Higher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 360, Washington, DC 20036-1110; phone: 202-293-6440, ext. 11; fax: 202-293-0073 ($8.50 members, $10 nonmembers; subscription to all 14 papers: $120 members, $140 nonmembers).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC.
Note: For related documents, see HE 031 666-678.