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ERIC Number: EJ1099128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Abstractor: As Provided
Tenure in Higher Education: Property Right or No Rights?
Webb, Sheila Anne
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2007 n3 Sum 2007
One may ask, "What is tenure today with its fuzzy parameters?" Is it a property right that a faculty member may earn and "hold" to retain employment? To understand the issue, educators must first understand what they are tenured to. Since the tenure process emanates from a department, are they tenured to a department or to a college or to the university? Although professors understand that tenure status is not automatically transferred to another institution but must be earned or negotiated again if the professor changes institutions, they often never ask what they are tenured to. This vital question may be their demise. Institutions that tenure faculty to departments or colleges versus the university itself, may simply dismiss all tenured faculty by eliminating or restructuring the department or college. Collaborative administrators accomplish this through established processes and procedures often involving program review to establish productivity and programmatic need. Procedures for this can encompass programmatic self-study reports and faculty review committees including the Academic Senate. If groups of tenured faculty are removed from their positions through this process, benevolent administrators may offer options for the faculty such as funds for retraining personnel for needed positions in other areas of the university. Retraining offers no guarantees since tenured faculty who have lost their positions must compete for other positions; they need to interview, and, if hired, again seek the tenure track regulations to regain tenure in a new department or college. This paper discusses the pros and cons of tenure as well as the changing definition and frequency of tenure track positions.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Tenure, Personnel Policy, College Administration, Educational History, Intellectual Property, Teacher Rights, Job Security, Collective Bargaining
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida