FACTOID # 10: The total number of state executions in 2005 was 60: 19 in Texas and 41 elsewhere. The racial split was 19 Black and 41 White.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
People who viewed "Tenure" also viewed:


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Tenure
Look up tenure in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Tenure commonly refers to life tenure in a job, and specifically to a senior academic's contractual right not to be fired without cause. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Land tenure is the name given, particularly in common law systems, to the legal regime in which land is owned by an individual, who is said to hold the land. ... Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... A life tenure is a tenure that lasts the lifetime of the person designated with such honor. ... Plato is credited with the inception of academia: the body of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations. ... For other uses, see Contract (disambiguation). ...


Academic tenure

Under the tenure systems adopted as internal policy by many universities and colleges, especially in the United States and Canada, tenure is associated with more senior job titles such as Professor and Associate Professor. A junior professor will not be promoted to such a tenured position without demonstrating a strong record of research, teaching, and administrative service. Typical systems (such as the Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure[1]) allow only a limited period to establish such a record, by limiting the number of years that any employee can hold a junior title such as Assistant Professor. (An institution may also offer other academic titles that are not time-limited, such as Lecturer, Adjunct Professor, or Research Professor, but these positions do not carry the possibility of tenure and are said to be "off the tenure track".) Representation of a university class, 1350s. ... College (Latin collegium) is a term most often used today to denote an educational institution. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: one who claims publicly to be an expert) varies. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: one who claims publicly to be an expert) varies. ...

Academic tenure is primarily intended to guarantee the right to academic freedom: it protects respected teachers and researchers when they dissent from prevailing opinion, openly disagree with authorities of any sort, or spend time on unfashionable topics. Thus academic tenure is similar to the lifetime tenure that protects some judges from external pressure. Without job security, the scholarly community as a whole might favor "safe" lines of inquiry. Tenure makes original ideas more likely to arise, by giving scholars the intellectual autonomy to investigate the problems and solutions about which they are most passionate, and to report their honest conclusions. Academic freedom is the freedom of teachers, students, and academic institutions to pursue knowledge wherever it may lead, without undue or unreasonable interference. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Universities also have economic rationales for adopting tenure systems. First, job security and the accompanying autonomy are significant employee benefits; without them, universities might have to pay higher salaries or take other measures to attract and retain talented or well-known scholars. Second, junior faculty are driven to establish themselves by the high stakes of the tenure decision (i.e., lifetime tenure vs. job loss), arguably helping to create a culture of excellence within the university. Finally, tenured faculty may be more likely to invest time in improving the universities where they expect to remain for life; they may also be more willing to hire, mentor and promote talented junior colleagues who could otherwise threaten their positions. Many of these rationales resemble those for senior partner positions in law and accounting firms. Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], house, and νέμω [nemo], rules hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system (particularly in Western art). ... It has been suggested that Accounting scholarship be merged into this article or section. ...

The cost of a tenure system is that some tenured professors may not use their freedom wisely. Tenure has been criticized for allowing senior professors to become unproductive, shoddy, or irrelevant. Universities themselves bear this risk: they pay dearly whenever they guarantee lifetime employment to an individual who proves unworthy of it. Universities therefore exercise great care in offering tenured positions, first requiring an intensive formal review of the candidate's record of research, teaching, and service. This review typically takes several months and includes the solicitation of confidential letters of assessment from highly regarded scholars in the candidate's research area. Some colleges and universities also solicit letters from students about the candidate's teaching. A tenured position is offered only if both senior faculty and senior administrators judge that the candidate is likely to remain a productive scholar and teacher for life.

In North American universities and colleges, the tenure track has long been a defining feature of employment. However, it is becoming less than universal [2][3]. Many colleges and universities—particularly those that do not seek a world-class research reputation—have taken advantage of the large supply of academic job applicants to reduce their tenure commitments. In North American universities, positions that carry tenure, or the opportunity to attain tenure, have grown more slowly than non-tenure-track positions, leading to a large "academic underclass" [4]. For example, most U.S. universities currently supplement the work of tenured professors with the services of non-tenured adjunct professors, academics who teach classes for lower wages and fewer employment benefits under relatively short-term contracts. North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: one who claims publicly to be an expert) varies. ...

For these, and other reasons, academic tenure was officially restructured in public universities in the United Kingdom, by the Thatcher government in the 1980s. It is no longer offered in Australia, New Zealand and in most of Europe (whereas most European university systems, especially profound in Germany, do not allow any teaching by young researchers, postgraduates, post doctoral fellows, or residents). In Germany, however, in universities (but not Advanced technical colleges) practice differs often from theory: teaching should be restricted to tenured faculty and a few non-tenure staff members paid for research and teaching. In reality a lot of teaching is carried out by non-tenure research students and researchers, often without being paid for it. In France, tenure is granted early: in academic ranks as well as to CNRS and other researchers, who thus have a strong institutional protection that affords intellectual and political independence and enables them to enjoy special rights to free speech unlike other French Civil Servants. This does not cite its references or sources. ... Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC (born October 13, 1925), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in office from 1979 to 1990. ... The following summarizes basic academic ranks in the French higher education system: // Professeur des universités (Full Professor) Maître de conférences - MCF (with or without and habilitation to direct PhD thesis known as HDR). ... The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) is one of the most prominent scientific research institutions in France. ... The French Civil Service (French: fonction publique française) is the set of civil servants (fonctionnaires) working for the French government. ...

Moreover, it repeatedly is under attack in state universities in the United States. Outside the United States, it is still common to offer a long contract to candidates who pass a less stringent review or confirmation, but with somewhat less job security than in lifetime tenure systems. quagmire:For alternate meanings see state university (disambiguation). ...

In certain jurisdictions, tenure is also granted to schoolteachers at primary and secondary schools, following a probationary period. In education, teachers are those who teach students or pupils, often a course of study or a practical skill. ... Primary or elementary education is the first years of formal, structured education that occurs during childhood. ... The term, secondary school, refers to an institution where the third stage of schooling, known as secondary education, takes place. ...

History in the USA

Tenure in the 19th century

In the 19th century, university professors largely served at the pleasure of the board of trustees of the university. Sometimes, major donors could successfully remove professors or prohibit the hiring of certain ones; nonetheless, a de facto tenure system existed. Usually professors were only fired for interfering with the religious principles of a college, and most boards were reluctant to discipline professors. The courts rarely intervened in dismissals. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Board of directors. ... A donor in general is a person that donates something. ...

In one debate of the Cornell Board of Trustees, in the 1870s, a businessman trustee argued against the prevailing system of de facto tenure, but lost the argument. Despite the power retained in the board, academic freedom prevailed. Another example is the 1894 case of Richard Ely, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who advocated labor strikes and labor law reform. Though the Wisconsin legislature and business interests pressed for his dismissal, the board of trustees of the university passed a resolution committing itself to academic freedom, and to retaining him (without tenure): Cornell University is a university located in Ithaca, New York, USA. Its two medical campuses are in New York City and Education City, Qatar. ... Richard Theodore Ely, Ph. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison (also known as UW–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, or UW) is a highly selective public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ...

"In all lines of investigation the investigator should be absolutely free to follow the paths of truth, wherever they may lead. Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless winnowing and sifting by which alone the truth can be found."

Tenure from 1900 to 1940

In 1900, the presidents of Harvard University, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago each made clear that no donor could any longer dictate faculty decisions; such a donor’s contribution would be unwelcome. In 1915, this was followed by the American Association of University Professors' (AAUP) declaration of principles—the traditional justification for academic freedom and tenure. Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... Columbia University is a private research university in the United States and a member of the prestigious Ivy League. ... The University of Chicago is a private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. ... The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is an organization of professors and other academics in the United States. ...

The AAUP's declaration of principles recommended that:

  • Trustees raise faculty salaries, but not bind their consciences with restrictions.
  • Only committees of other faculty can judge a member of the faculty. This would also insulate higher administration from external accountability decisions.
  • Faculty appointments be made by other faculty and chairpersons, with three elements:
    • (i) Clear employment contracts
    • (ii) formal academic tenure, and
    • (iii) clearly stated grounds for dismissal.

While the AAUP pushed reform, tenure battles were a campus non-issue. In 1910, a survey of 22 universities showed that most professors held their positions with "presumptive permanence". At a third of colleges, assistant professor appointments were considered permanent, while at most colleges multi-year appointments were subject to renewal. Only at one university did a governing board ratify a president’s decisions on granting tenure. Finally, there were approximately 20 complaints filed in 1928 with the AAUP, and only one merited investigation. Colleges slowly adopted the AAUP’s resolution; de facto tenure reigned; usually reappointments were permanent.

Tenure from 1940 to 1972

In 1940, the AAUP recommended that the academic tenure probationary period be seven years; still the current norm. It also suggested that a tenured professor could not be dismissed without adequate cause, except "under extraordinary circumstances, because of financial emergencies." Also, the statement recommended that the professor be given the written reasons for dismissal and an opportunity to be heard in self-defence. Another purpose of the academic tenure probationary period was raising the performance standards of the faculty by pressing new professors to perform to the standard of the school's established faculty.

Yet, the most significant adoption of academic tenure occurred after 1945, when the influx of returning GIs returning to school and too-quickly expanding universities led to severe professorial faculty shortages. These shortages dogged the Academy for ten years, and that is when the majority of universities started offering formal tenure as a side benefit. The rate of tenure (per cent of tenured university faculty) increased to the current 52 per cent, and remains at that rate, with little fluctuation. In fact, the demand for professors was so high in the 1950s that the American Council of Learned Societies held a conference in Cuba noting the too-few doctoral candidates to fill positions in English departments. During the McCarthy era, loyalty oaths were required of many state employees, and formal academic tenure was not a protection from dismissal—even regarding free speech and free political association. Some professors were dismissed for their political affiliations, but of these, some likely were veiled dismissals for professional incompetence. During the 1960s, many professors supported the anti-war movement against the war with Vietnam, and more than 20 state legislatures passed resolutions calling for specific professorial dismissals and a change to the academic tenure system. University boards of trustees stood their ground and suffered no consequences. GI or G.I. is a term describing a US soldier or an item of their equipment. ... The American Council of Learned Societies, founded in 1919, is a private non-profit federation of sixty-eight scholarly organizations. ... McCarthyism, named after Joseph McCarthy, was a period of intense anticommunism, also (popularly) known as the (second) Red Scare, which occurred in the United States from 1948 to about 1956 (or later), when the government of the United States was actively engaged in suppression of the Communist Party USA, its... The global peace movement refers to a sense of common purpose among organizations that seek to end wars and minimize inter-human violence, usually through pacifism, non-violent resistance, diplomacy, boycott, moral purchasing and demonstrating. ...

Tenure from 1972 to the present

Two landmark Supreme Court cases changed tenure in 1972: (i) the Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 US 564; and (ii) Perry v. Sindermann, 408 US 593. These two cases held that a professor’s claim to entitlement must be more than a subjective expectancy of continued employment. Rather, there must be a contractual relationship or a reference in a contract to a specific tenure policy or agreement. Further, the court held that a tenured professor who is discharged from a public college has been deprived of a property interest, and so due process applies, requiring certain procedural safeguards (the right to personally appear in a hearing, the right to examine evidence and respond to accusations, the right to have advisory counsel).

Later cases specified other bases for dismissal: (i) if a professor’s conduct were incompatible with her duties (Trotman v. Bd. of Trustees of Lincoln Univ., 635 F.2d 216 (2d Cir.1980)); (ii) if the discharge decision is based on an objective rule (Johnson v. Bd of Regents of U. Wisc. Sys., 377 F. Supp 277, (W.D. Wisc. 1974)). After these cases were judged, the number of reported cases in the matter of academic tenure increased almost twofold: from 36 cases filed during the decade 1965–1975, to 81 cases filed during the lustrum 1980–1985.

During the 1980s there were no notable tenure battles, but three were outstanding in the 1990s. In 1995, the Florida Board of Regents tried to re-evaluate academic tenure, but managed only to institute a weak, post-tenure performance review. Likewise, in 1996 the Arizona Board of Regents attempted to re-evaluate tenure, fearing that few full-time professors actually taught university undergraduate students, mainly because the processes of achieving academic tenure underweighted teaching. However, faculty and administrators defended themselves and the board of trustees dropped its review. Finally, the University of Minnesota Regents tried from 1995 to 1996 to enact 13 proposals, including these policy changes: to allow the regents to cut faculty base- salaries for reasons other than a university financial emergency, and included poor performance, and firing tenured professors if their programs were eliminated or restructured and the university were unable to retrain or reassign them. In the Minnesota system, 87 per cent of university faculty were either tenured or on the tenure track, and the professors vehemently defended themselves. Eventually, the president of the system opposed these changes, and weakened a compromise plan by the Dean of the law school that failed. The board chairman resigned later that year.

Tenure today is still a fierce issue. Expectations for tenure continue to rise, and some scholars fret about the stringent minimum requirements (2 books, 12 articles) of a buyer’s market. Still, nationally about 7 in 10 tenure-track professors get tenure. In 2001, a panel at Northeastern University proposed some fresh changes that the professors later rejected. "Under the proposed policy, professors who received poor merit ratings two years in a row would be counseled by a three-member faculty committee that would craft a plan aimed at helping the professor improve his or her performance. After the plan was in place, the committee would re-evaluate the professor every six months. If, after two follow-up reviews, the committee determined that the faculty member's performance was still subpar in any of three areas — research, teaching, or service — the university could take steps to fire the tenured professor."

Part-time teaching work along the tenure track is rare in academia, with one study estimating that only 5% of universities offer such an opportunity, compared to 57% of companies. The national trend is for adjunct professors to teach when tenured or tenure-track professors do not. Professional schools have the least tenure track faculty, since a ready market for those professors exists outside academia; nationally, medical schools have the lowest percentage of tenure faculty. Tenure has fallen into disrepute. A recent survey of university presidents found that 53% agreed that tenure for faculty members should be replaced by a system of long-term contracts (39% disagreed). 70% of presidents who had never taught before favored the contract system, compared with only 38% of those who had taught for more than 20 years. Likewise, female and minority faculty are more likely to agree that tenure is "an outmoded concept" and an old boys' club. While the leading academic economists studying tenure agree that post-tenure evaluations have little value due to the lack of information, there is no consensus on how to reform the system.


Tenure is not usually given immediately to new professors upon hiring. Instead, open jobs are designated eligible for tenure, or "tenure-track", during the hiring process. Typically, a professor hired in a tenure-eligible position will then work for approximately five years before a formal decision is made on whether tenure will be granted.

The academic department will then vote to recommend the candidate for tenure based on the tenure-eligible professor's record in teaching, research, and service over this initial period. The amount of weight given to each of these areas varies depending on the type of institution the individual works for; for example, research intensive universities value research most highly, while more teaching intensive institutions value teaching and service to the institution more highly. The department's recommendation is given to a tenure review committee made up of faculty members or university administrators, which then makes the decision whether to award tenure, and the university president approves or vetoes the decision. This is a list of academic disciplines (and academic fields). ... An academic administration is a branch of university or college employees responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the institution and separate from the research and teaching faculty. ... University President is the title of the highest ranking officer within a university, within university systems that prefer that appellation over other variations such as Chancellor or rector. ...

A candidate denied tenure is sometimes considered to have been dismissed, but this is not entirely accurate: employment is often guaranteed for a year after tenure is denied, so that the non-tenured professor can conduct an extended search for new employment. Also, some prestigious universities and departments in the US award tenure so rarely that being denied it is scarcely an insult. Fired and Firing redirect here. ...

Professors who have earned tenure at one institution are often offered tenure along with any new position (as "senior hires"); otherwise, tenured faculty would rarely leave to join different universities.

Outside the US, a variety of contractual systems operate. Commonly, a less rigorous procedure is used to move staff members from temporary to "permanent" contracts. Permanent contracts, like tenure, may still be broken by employers in certain circumstances: for example if the staff member works in a department earmarked for closure.


Tenure can only be revoked for cause, normally only following severe misconduct by the professor. In the US, according to the Wall Street Journal (January 10, 2005), it is estimated that only 50 to 75 tenured professors (out of about 280,000) lose their tenure each year. Revocation is usually a lengthy and tedious procedure. In Colorado, where the question of what constitutes grounds for dismissal of a tenured professor arose as the result of the controversial comments of Ward Churchill regarding the victims of the 9/11 attack, grounds for dismissal are "professional incompetence, neglect of duty, insubordination, conviction of a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude… or sexual harassment or other conduct which falls below minimum standards of professional integrity." The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with an average daily circulation of 1,800,607 (2002). ... January 10 is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ward Churchill speaking at the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair, May 2005 Ward LeRoy Churchill (born October 2, 1947) is an American writer, Vietnam war veteran and political activist. ... Insubordination is the act of a subordinate deliberately disobeying a lawful order. ... For the record label, see Felony Records The term felony is a term used in common law systems for very serious crimes, whereas misdemeanors are considered to be less serious offenses. ... Sexual harassment is harassment or unwelcome attention of a sexual nature. ...

The Franklin case

In 1972, a tenured associate professor at Stanford, H. Bruce Franklin, was stripped of tenure in a lengthy and costly proceeding for exercising what he claimed was his First Amendment right to free speech. He had spoken in White Plaza, a common venue for impromptu speeches; after the speech, a group of students marched to the university's computation center, which they believed to be used for classified military research (despite Stanford's assurances to the contrary) and shut it down. One student threw a chair at one of the computer's memory units, doing approximately $100 in damage. The university convened a tribunal consisting of the usual panel of tenured professors who decide on tenure matters, and, by university rules, could contain no professor in the same department as the professor being evaluated. The university converted a Physics lecture hall into a courtroom, rather than using a moot courtroom in the Law School. The university hired a lawyer, Paul Valentine, who was a partner in a Los Angeles law firm, to prosecute Franklin, while Franklin chose to defend himself, saying he was less wealthy than Stanford. He was helped by a Stanford law student and a law professor. The tribunal decided in the university's favor. Franklin lost tenure and soon departed. He became an itinerant visiting professor for a few years and then attained tenure at Rutgers; recently, Rutgers appointed him to an endowed chair. Stanford may refer: Stanford University Places: Stanford, Kentucky Stanford, California, home of Stanford University Stanford Shopping Center Stanford, New York, town in Dutchess County. ... H. Bruce Franklin (born 1934) is an American professor of English and radical Marxist. ... The first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. ... Freedom of speech is the right to freely say what one pleases, as well as the related right to hear what others have stated. ... Moot court Moot court is an extracurricular activity at many law schools in which participants take part in simulated court proceedings, usually to include drafting briefs and participating in oral argument. ... Rutgers University Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is located in New Brunswick, Piscataway, Camden and Newark, New Jersey. ...

Other cases

Some other cases from: Carolyn J. Mooney, "Dismissals for Cause", The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 7, 1994, page A17 (approximate dates because cases can span many years): The Chronicle of Higher Education is a newspaper that is a source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty and administration. ... is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display full 1994 Gregorian calendar). ...

  1. Joseph San Filipo, Chemistry, Rutgers University, ~1988
  2. Emil A. Tonkovich, Law, University of Kansas, ~1993
  3. Tzvee Zahavy, Religion, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University of Minnesota, ~1995

In this 1994 article, Mooney reports that "Tenure experts estimate that about 50 tenured professors nationwide are dismissed each year for cause.", a number similar to the 2005 Wall Street Journal article cited above. See also the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) website. The Wall Street Journal is an influential international daily newspaper published in New York City, New York with an average daily circulation of 1,800,607 (2002). ... The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is an organization of professors and other academics in the United States. ...

Criticisms of the tenure process

The AAUP has handled hundreds of cases where tenure candidates were treated unfairly. The AAUP has censured many major and minor universities and colleges for tenure abuses. [1] [2]

Tenure at many universities depends solely on research publications and research grants although the universities' official policies are that tenure depends on research, teaching and service.[5] Even articles in refereed teaching journals and teaching grants may not count towards tenure at such universities.

Tenure evaluations are often conducted in secret sessions by committees that keep no minutes. Tenure committees often provide no details to the tenure candidate on the reasons why tenure was denied. Such secrecy makes it easy for one or a few faculty members to sabotage a tenure case for a tenure candidate they dislike.

At some universities, the department chairperson sends forward the department recommendation on tenure. There have been cases where the faculty voted unanimously to tenure an individual but the chairperson sent forward a recommendation not to grant tenure despite the faculty support.

Tenure decisions sometimes seem arbitrary. Tenure candidates with impressive lists of publications and accomplishments have been denied tenure while those with far fewer accomplishments have obtained tenure at the same institution.

Tenure decisions can result in fierce politics. In one tenure battle at Indiana University, an untenured professor was accused of threatening violence against those who opposed his promotion, his wife briefly went on a hunger strike, and many called for the entire department to be disbanded. [6]

Criticisms of tenure

There is some debate about the effects and desirability of academic tenure. [7] Not all universities offer tenure.

Tenure may allow academics who express controversial views to be unaccountable to taxpayers or employers for comments or positions. Proponents of tenure state that this protection from "retaliation" is a benefit of tenure, as it expands discourse on subjects that otherwise may be too sensitive to address. Opponents state that public funding should be accompanied by some measure of control over content and that the higher educational system should not continue to support those with offensive or objectionable stances.[citation needed] Proponents of tenure state that a difficulty in this stance is the question of what should be judged to be objectionable, and by whom. Another point is that such control attacks academic freedom, as well as tenure. Academic freedom is the freedom of teachers, students, and academic institutions to pursue knowledge wherever it may lead, without undue or unreasonable interference. ...

Others criticize tenure for allowing professors, once tenured, to be less concerned with performance in all areas, reasoning that their jobs are relatively secure.[citation needed] This also reduces the free flow of faculty to industry, as they may be reluctant to give up the benefits and security of tenure.[citation needed] Such a restriction may not be beneficial for the economy.[citation needed]

Similarly, the teaching quality of a university professor may decline as he or she gets older,[citation needed] leading to a situation in which the quality of the professor's teaching is inadequate; yet, due to the professor's tenured status, the university may have difficulty removing him or her from the position.[citation needed]

Tenure may sometimes create a system whereby tenured professors are not held liable for some of their actions, even severe actions such as research misconduct and employee abuses.[citation needed] Universities frequently permit a laissez-faire management of tenured faculty, allowing them to run their offices and laboratories with a minimal amount of supervision. While there is typically a highly codified set of rules for faculty behavior, tenured faculty are often protected by internal systems of governance within universities. If they are reviewed, it is by peers whom they have worked with for decades, and it may be viewed as being in the best interest of the university to cover misconduct by their faculty.[citation needed] Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ...

Another criticism of tenure is that when legal and just causes do arise to revoke tenure, it is often accompanied by a protracted and expensive legal battle that would not be necessary without the tenure system.[citation needed]

Finally, while in some cases tenured faculty may be laid off for financial exigency or the closure of a department (if their tenure is by department), at many schools tenured professors cannot be dismissed if their discipline is no longer viable based on interest from students or research funding grants (if their tenure is by college). Untenured professors, however, can be laid off. Advocates of tenure say this encourages continued research in neglected areas, while opponents say that it wastes money on fields that might otherwise shrink or die out, effectively preventing colleges from responding to changing conditions by redirecting their funds to more relevant areas.[citation needed]

Arguments in favor of tenure

Arguments in favor of tenure usually center around the benefit of making the faculty unanswerable to the administration. The oft-cited argument is that, via tenure, faculty are free to teach what they consider to be right without fear of retribution. For example, conservative faculty at liberal institutions and liberal faculty at conservative institutions would be free to maintain institutionally contrarian viewpoints. Such diversity of viewpoints is considered beneficial to the educational environment. However, it is not clear that this occurs, as such faculty may be denied promotions and raises and may be ostracised by their peers, or not granted tenure in the first place.

A less cited, though perhaps more persuasive argument, is that tenure helps to preserve academic standards. [8] At all but the few institutions with exceptionally large endowments, administrations are largely motivated to increase the number of students at the institution. This motivation, left unchecked, would result in ever declining admissions requirements and ever rising grade inflation. A faculty that is tenured and that does not share directly in the profits of the institution is motivated less by maintaining enrollment numbers than by maintaining its academic reputation among its peers. Thus, tenure protects academic rigor from competitive forces that would erode that rigor in favor of attracting and retaining greater numbers of students.

Indeed, part of the friction that tenure causes in the US is also related to its greatest benefit: it is a system that exists on the margin of a market economy. Insulating academic knowledge production from the turbulence and vicissitudes of capitalism helps to preserve and create knowledge that might not exist otherwise. Since universities are only one site of knowledge production in the world, it seems desirable to allow this narrow exception to a culture that purports to believe that supply and demand are the only forces that should govern every aspect of our lives.

Tenure, or something similar, is in effect in other countries like Norway. There, no one can be fired without a just cause, and all employees are protected by law. People in these countries cannot be fired unless they break their work contract. The unions pay close attention and have to be a part of all cases where people are being fired to protect the employees interests. In these countries, people are, unlike the US, generally not concerned about being fired.

See also

Habilitation is the highest academic qualification a person can achieve by his/her own pursuit in certain European countries. ... The competition for tenure-track faculty positions and for tenure itself for professors holding such positions brought on by the tight job market in academia, especially in the humanities and social sciences, has increased on scholars to publish, as publishing has become the all-important measure of a scholars... A Tenured Professor (1990) is a satirical novel by Canadian/American economist and Professor Emeritus at Harvard John Kenneth Galbraith about a liberal university teacher who sets out to change American society by making money and then using it for the public good. ... School in literature Christine Anlauff: Good morning, Lehnitz F. Anstey: Vice Versa Louis Auchincloss: The Rector of Justin Alan Bennett: The History Boys E.R. Braithwaite: To Sir, with Love Sasthi Brata: My God Died Young Anthony Buckeridge: Jennings Goes to School Frances Hodgson Burnett: Sara Crewe (aka A Little...


  1. ^ Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure from the American Association of University Professors
  2. ^ "White Paper #1 - Tenure" Illinois State University’s AAUP
  3. ^ "Transient professors: How important is tenure?" Evelyn Shih (2003) The Yale Herald
  4. ^ "Tenure in the new millennium: Still a valuable concept" James T. Richardson (1999) National Forum (see section on "Split labour theory in academe")
  5. ^ Boyer, E.L. 1990. Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princeton, NJ: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  6. ^ Alleged Death Threats, a Hunger Strike, and a Department at Risk Over a Tenure Decision Courtney Leatherman (2000). Chronicle of Higher Education.
  7. ^ "Academic Freedom and Tenure: A faculty perspective" Academic Senate for California Community Colleges
  8. ^ "How Tenure Lines Brought Change to Women's Studies: Faculty see structural, intellectual change in program" Duke University (2005) News and Communications.


  • Amacher, Ryan C. Faulty Towers: Tenure and the Structure of Higher Education. Oakland: Independent Institute, 2004.
  • Chait, Richard P. (Ed.). The Questions of Tenure. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2002.
  • Joughlin, Louis (Ed.). Academic Freedom and Tenure. Madison: U. of Wisc. Press, 1969.
  • Rudolph, Frederick. American College and University: A History (Reissue Edition). Athens: Univ. of Ga. Press, 1990.
  • Haworth, Karla. "Florida Regents Approve Post-Tenure Reviews for All Professors." The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 11, 1996, A15.
  • Magner, Denise K. "Minnesota Regents' Proposals Stir Controversy With Faculty." The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 20, 1996, A11.
  • Leatherman, Courtney. "Alleged Death Threats, a Hunger Strike, and a Department at Risk." The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 4, 2000, A12.
  • Wilson, Robin. "A Higher Bar for Earning Tenure." The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5, 2001, A12.
  • Wilson, Robin. "Northeastern Proposal for Post-Tenure Review Goes Too Far, Critics Say." The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 11, 2001, A14.
  • Whiting, B.J. Delegate to the ACLS of the Medieval Academy of America, in 1953 (Speculum 28[1953] 633–34). The Council was alarmed at the thought that a national academic faculty of 50,000 would have to grow to 90,000 by the year 1965 in order to keep up with the demographic demand. This news was reported as staggering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos066.htm#emply) that "Postsecondary teachers held nearly 1.6 million jobs in 2004", at least a quarter million of them undeniably humanistic.
  • Wilson, Robin. "Working Half Time on the Tenure Track." The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 25, 2002, A10.
  • Fogg, Piper. "Presidents Favor Scrapping Tenure." The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2005, A31.

is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 263rd day of the year (264th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 216th day of the year (217th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 131st day of the year (132nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Education -- Tenure review: Job-security tool for teachers gets fresh scrutiny (715 words)
Tenure guarantees that public school teachers who have this protection cannot be fired without legitimate cause and due process, perhaps even a court hearing.
Tenure is most associated with colleges and universities, where prospective professors earn it by compiling a rigorous record of research, teaching and service.
Tenure, she said, is meant mainly as an assurance of fair review, while certification and regular evaluation of teachers are indicators of quality.
Tenure definition document promotes wide-ranging dialogue (715 words)
Although agreeing that tenure is important to the vitality of the University and to preserve academic freedom, forum speakers differed on how far the University should go in codifying the rights and responsibilities associated with tenure.
Tenure, Dau-Schmidt said, is important for the efficient operation of academic departments because peer review is needed to decide whose research, teaching and service merit the offering of tenure.
Kent D. Syverud, professor of law and principal author of "Toward a Definition of Tenure," said one of the difficulties in drafting a definition of tenure is the broad array of tenure and promotion practices at the University.
  More results at FactBites »



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m