NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ846674
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-15
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Bucking the Trend, St. John's University Converts Instructors into Tenure-Track Professors
June, Audrey Williams
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n36 pA8 May 2009
Scholars who teach composition, a staple on the schedule of many a college freshman, often wind up stringing together a series of adjunct teaching jobs while keeping an eye out for that first step on the golden track to tenure. This article reports on a group of 20 people hired by St. John's University to teach in its first-year writing program, part of the university's Institute for Writing Studies, which opened in 2006. All of them were hired over two years as full-time instructors on one-year, renewable contracts. But in the summer of 2008, the president and the provost decided to convert the contingent positions into tenure-track jobs. At a time when the ravaged economy has pushed many colleges to cut faculty members from the payroll, it is unusual to hear of a college converting contingent workers into potential lifetime employees. But the university's ambition is to "have every St. John's student recognized for their writing skills." Achieving that goal meant "the university had to make a strategic priority to invest in a writing faculty above and beyond the English faculty." The promotions were a move to hold on to the writing specialists. (Most are Ph.D.'s, and the rest are A.B.D., M.F.A.'s, or professors with master's degrees who have extensive teaching experience.) And even though St. John's officials reached this decision before the economy tanked, the university insists that its commitment to the Institute for Writing Studies and its faculty hasn't wavered.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York