Tenure in higher education

Essay by mommyofdanpUniversity, Bachelor's May 2005

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English 201 Rhetoric and Composition II Argumentation



Tenure is a topic that has produced much hatred discussion in recent years. Some argue that tenure is an outdated concept, and if institutions are going to stay in a competive nature, they need to be able to have more flexibility to hire and fire faculty as student needs change. Others argue that tenure is vital to the protection of academic freedom and that without tenure we will return to the days when faculty were dismissed for teaching unpopular opinions. The practice of tenure at most universities seems to come under fire. Some say that tenure is the best interest of the students. (NEA Higher Education)

As stated on the NEA website institutions have not been filling tenure-track positions as faculty retire or resign to take another position. Instead we are seeing an increase in the numbers of faculty hired on limited term contracts of five years or less and an increase in the numbers of part-time temporary faculty hired.

The definition of tenure is very complicated in some ways if you are not familiar with the concept and the means of how it is done. Under the tenure system, newly hired full-time faculty have to go with a multi year probationary period during which there work is continually evaluated, and this is a very stressful time in a persons' life to be constantly monitored in a way we all hate.(NEA) During this time, they are subject to non-renewal of their employment contract without recourse. So a person that put in all there time and energy can be let go at any time during there time as trying to get tenure for themselves and to become stable in there workplace. At the end of the...