As part of a Room for Debate discussion forum, the New York Times asks: "What if college tenure dies?" Cary Nelson at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, says that "the only way to preserve and rebuild our higher education system is to grant long-term adjunct faculty members the protections of tenure and appoint more tenure track faculty," while Ohio University's Richard Vedder says "tenured faculty members often use their power to stifle innovation and change," and that "tenure contributes to the inefficient and expensive system of shared governance." Adrianna Kezar at the University of Southern California writes in defense of tenure, while Harvard's Cathy Trower and Columbia's Mark Taylor each shoot the practice down (Taylor calls the practice "unsustainable and indefensible."). Hundreds of reader comments round out the discussion, which was posted, and updated, this week.
The Times Talks Tenure
Jul 21, 2010