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ERIC Number: EJ814349
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Save Tenure Now
Burgan, Mary
Academe, v94 n5 p31-33 Sep-Oct 2008
The author begins by asserting that tenure does have a future, even though cultural and economic trends in American higher education have brought it to near annihilation in the past decade. She is sorry to say that it has survived these trends for one troubling reason--tenure is the ultimate employment perk for very successful members of the professoriate. Without the lure of tenure, it is doubtful that ambitious universities and colleges could compete for the best and the brightest among the new PhDs. Without tenure, they could hardly participate in the game of raiding one another for superstars. Money would never be enough. Without the promise of tenure, some small liberal arts colleges or regional state campuses could not hope to retain faculty to teach on their relatively remote campuses. Without tenure, the American academy's promise of academic freedom for teaching would be compromised, but that hardly seems to matter when so much undergraduate teaching is being performed by unprotected contingent faculty. Few of the notorious critics of liberal teaching in higher education worry about what goes on in graduate classrooms. As for academic freedom in research, tenure has barely summoned fortitude against some of the temptations to skew results to suit the needs of granting agencies. In this article, the author calls on the powerful, tenured members of the professoriate to lead the effort to set tenure right again. She contends that there will be no future for traditional tenure if those who have it continue to ignore the fact that the time to save it is now.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A