Academic Tenure

Archive Report

Tenure Debate Amid College Stringency

Faculty Dismissals in Campus Economy Moves

Academic tenure—the prevailing system of faculty job security—has been under fire for one reason or another ever since the concept was first formally introduced in 1915. The deteriorating economic situation now facing many American colleges has resulted in another and, in some ways, a more serious attack on the system. As long as the criticism of tenure focused primarily on the protection it afforded radicals or alleged subversives, or even incompetents, educators could defend the practice on the ground that its retention was essential for academic freedom. But in the last few years, as colleges and universities have been forced to economize and as many young Ph.D.'s have been unable to find employment, it has ...

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