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ERIC Number: EJ815283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct-3
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
A Faustian Bargain for Academic Freedom
Bowen, Roger
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n6 pA36 Oct 2008
The historic institution of tenure is rapidly becoming history. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has for almost a century advocated for tenure as the chief guarantor of a faculty member's academic freedom. But today tenure and academic freedom are viewed less and less as crucially intertwined. Academic freedom has widely been embraced as the central value of the academy because it is correctly regarded as a necessary condition for developing new knowledge. Tenure, on the other hand, has been gradually eroded, for largely economic reasons. Tenure is, in fact, expensive, while academic freedom is not. Awarding tenure can be a multimillion-dollar commitment for a college, with no guarantee of a financial return, while endorsing academic freedom costs no money at all. As a former general secretary of the AAUP, the author suggests that in order to save academic freedom, a major sacrifice must be made. Elevating the idea and aspiration of academic freedom into a legal right, possibly into an enumerated constitutional right in certain states, with a force equal to the First Amendment, may be a Faustian bargain, but, it may be the very best deal that America's faculty members can cut.
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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