Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More On Tenure

Tenure enhances the resistance to change and the much needed reforms of higher education in American society today.  Tenure creates a conflict of interest among other faculty groups that do not have tenure.  For example, clinical faculty do not receive tenure when their scholarship and teaching responsibilities are equally rigorous and important.

Remember that tenure creates a lifetime employment contract between the university and the professor.


  1. Would you be so kind as to reconcile with the above statement why it is tenured faculty who have led the push for innovative online courses at institutions in Nevada and administrators who have resisted it?

  2. Michael, I simply don't understand your question. It's like asking it is hotter in the city than it is in the summer? Please clarify for me. If you like you can call me on the phone and we can discuss it.

  3. The question is quite simple. You say that tenured/senior faculty are responsible for the lack of innovation. I have just stated that those are the very faculty attempting innovation and being shot down by their "superiors." How do you reconcile your sweeping generalization?

  4. Dear Michael,

    I simply can’t follow what you are saying. I do not believe that tenure makes every professor less effective or that it makes every tenured faculty member lazy, arrogant or irresponsive to the needs of that university. Outstanding faculty don’t need tenure. The reason they get their position and retain their position is because of their intelligence and competence. Tenure is not necessary for the outstanding professor. Tenure, however, is essential to the continued employment of a professor who has ceased to be aggressive, hardworking, creative and productive. You can’t convince me that when I hired a professor with great talents and energy I can be sure that thirty years later that professor will have the same qualities. Professors with tenure who have not been able to keep up in their chosen field do nothing but injure the institution.

    I have no problem with giving a professor a five-year contract. I am reluctant to give the professor a contract longer than five-years because if I do the institution has little control of the performance of that professor. By the way, what do you do for a living?