Monday, June 25, 2012

Tenure Eliminated?

I am not naïve enough to believe that tenure can in any way be changed and I certainly don’t believe it can be eliminated.  But let me give you my thoughts on how a monster like tenure, which eventually will prevent UNR and UNLV from reaching a competitive status of the other universities in this country, will finally motivate the Nevada legislature and governor to further curtail funding of higher education.  The Republicans have figured out that public higher education is a disaster.  It is inefficient in many respects (tenure is one of the most serious problems) and the only way to eliminate these problems is to close the system down because they can’t be fixed.

The next two weeks Twitters deal with my observations.  

Remember that tenure creates a lifetime employment contract between the university and the professor which in reality cannot be terminated by the university.


  1. Education is NOT a business. It is not governed by the same rules as business. It's mission statement is different from business. Therefore, It should not "kick" out professors and other faculty after they have outlived someone's perceived "usefulness".

    Eliminating tenure will do one thing. Prevent good faculty from coming to Nevada. If you ask any great professor if they would teach in Nevada - WITHOUT tenure being an option - they will not.

    Perhaps your vision of higher education in Nevada only includes a younger science or math or business professors - who are only here to start their career and therefore can be bought for a cheaper cost - to move on when they become more seasoned. Real university and college systems have a variety of faculty - new and old, experienced and younger, and a balance in hard and soft sciences.

    Once again - a business model doesn't not work in higher education - never has, never will. This is Harvard case study 101 - one of the first lessons I learned while studying for an MBA. The mission statements are different - for-profit = make money, non-for-profit = educate.

    Not-for-profit sciences are killed with the method you are using. Which is great if you want to turn our education system into a business college ONLY. Unfortunately to retained the credential - Universities should provide a full curriculum - including the Arts and other soft sciences.

    Interesting that this should become your next topic, given that George W. Bush and Michelle Rhee were just in town promoting a privatizing agenda at the #APSCU2012.

    I would think as a media owner you would try to be more balanced. This topic is very very right leaning. Talking points taken right from privatizing agendas.

  2. Dear Public School Teacher,

    The first three weeks of my tweets about tenure set forth all the reasons I believe have substance to eliminate tenure.

    I served as the Chancellor of the Higher Education System in Nevada for five years. It was a seventy hour a week job. I assure you I have some knowledge of the strengths and flaws of tenure. I find it interesting you view me as a conservative. You’re the only person I know who views me as anything other than a flaming liberal.

    Tenure is a very complicated issue. It has many sides, many strengths and many weaknesses.

    On July 9th we will start to publish two weeks of arguments that support tenure. If you would like a copy of the proposed tweets call Mark @ (702) 657-3295

    Thank you for your interest and your comments.