The tenuous future of tenure

August 14, 2009

An opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education argues that tenure-track positions at US colleges face extinction in a war of attrition. Deans faced with shrinking budgets and the choice of $12,000 per course for a tenured faculty member, or $4,000 per course for an adjunct, will make the obvious choice -- particularly in "softer" humanities and social science departments, which often have less power and prestige on campus. Unless institutions are concerned about their showing in the US News rankings, "nothing will ensure the survival of tenure in the next 20 years."  Chronicle of Higher Ed