Pittsburgh Tribune Review Story - Fewer Tenured and Tenure-Track Positions Available

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review carried an interesting story today.  The story describes a precipitous drop in tenured and tenure-track teaching p... at American institutions of higher learning.  According to the American Association of University Professors, the percentage of tenured professors, or those on track for tenure, dropped from 56.8% of college faculty in 1975 to 31.2 percent in 2008.  At the same time, there was large growth in the hiring of temporary or adjunct instructors, and those under contract but enjoying the same benefits of full-time faculty members.

Read the article for the full story, then decide for yourself if this is a positive or negative trend.

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Tenure is another one of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" ideas that addressed a small problem only to create a much larger one for the schools and society (much like unions). With all of the opportunities to teach and schools everywhere, public and private, I think tenure is an idea whose time has past but lingers on via Sacred Cow status.

Alan Emrich


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