Why being denied tenure is a big deal

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Agent 204 Agent 204's picture
Why being denied tenure is a big deal

If reports out of Alabama are accurate, the professor accused of killing three of her colleagues had been denied tenure, and this is being cited as a motive. It was also reportedly Valery Fabrikant's motive for an almost identical crime at Concordia University in 1992. Katherine van Wormer sympathizes:

Quote:
As one who was denied tenure at a previous university, I would describe the denial of tenure as an end to one's career, to one's livelihood, sense of personal disgrace, loss of home, friendships, and community. Especially if your academic performance has been noteworthy, being denied tenure, in effect, fired by your peers is the ultimate rejection of the person. Uniquely, in academia the fired professor stays on for a "terminal" year, attending faculty meetings with the same people that have struck these final blows. If there are appeal processes going on as was true in my, like Bishop's case, relationships are extremely adversarial.

Another fact about the tenure process is that it comes after five years of apparently successful reviews of one's work. Personal investment in the job and friendships that have developed, therefore, are quite strong. Also consider the fact that academics are usually highly specialized and only qualified for university teaching and research. Because of the stigma of being terminated from an academic job, faculty who do not anticipate receiving tenure typically leave after several years. At this time, they can still get good references and leave without hard feelings. Those who expect to get tenure as I did must endure a grueling process that includes submitting lengthy documents including student evaluations, proof of university service, and research accomplishments. Then behind closed doors, one's tenured colleagues, who often have less qualifications themselves as they were tenured when standards were lower, decide whether or not to accept the candidate to membership.

Although a pacifist, when I heard the news of the shootings, I instinctively grasped the pain that had driven this apparently violence-prone woman to take her revenge. I could imagine how she felt sitting in meetings as her colleagues drew up plans for future teaching assignments. A recent interview with one of the victims confirms that the discussion leading up to the shootings indeed concerned departmental plans for the next year. I can well identify with the rage and sense of rejection that would consume someone whose future was so methodically taken away. In my case, I took my anger out by doing everything I was advised not to do: filing formal complaints, organizing students, and going to the press. Finally, when every avenue was closed, I returned to graduate school and started over in a related discipline.

From Psychology Today.

G. Muffin

These academics need a dose of reality. Who else gets tenure?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Interesting. I wonder if she can intinctively grasp the pain of someone working is a less prestigious field at being summarily terminated. Or does she only have sympathy for someone of her own class?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Perhaps this paints a better [url=http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2010/02/16/12905406-ap.html]picture[/url]

 

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When a young woman in the state of Massachusetts killed her brother with a shotgun blast in 1986, no ballistics tests were done, and authorities waited more than a week to question family members.

 

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In the latest twist Tuesday, a police report revealed that Bishop had also been charged with assaulting a woman in 2002 during a tirade over a child's booster seat at a restaurant.

 

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Anderson also said his wife had been writing a novel at the time that was reviewed by law enforcement. The Boston Globe, citing a law enforcement source it did not identify, reported that it was about a woman who had killed her brother and was hoping to make amends by becoming a great scientist.

But Anderson said the novel was not autobiographical.

"It was just a novel. A medical thriller is the best way to describe it," he said.

 

:) @ bagkitty and g. muffin

G. Muffin

bagkitty wrote:

Interesting. I wonder if she can intinctively grasp the pain of someone working is a less prestigious field at being summarily terminated. Or does she only have sympathy for someone of her own class?

Are you talking to me? We share the same class.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

G. Muffin - I was referring to the author of the piece quoted... I assumed with the name Katherine, that it was a woman, seems to me that the pronoun "she" was the correct one to use. If I had been writing about the accused, it would also have been correct to use that pronoun. Don't get trapped in the mirror image of "Since Socrates was a man, all men are Socrates", I was not writing about G. Muffin.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Tenure is a good thing. Not getting tenure after enduring the long and challenging application process and expecting you will get it and all the while building relationships with the smiling villains who are your colleagues and peers is indeed devastating. Why it would be much different in degree from any other vocation, I don't know.

remind remind's picture

yes, we all want permanent job protection to protect our class distinction, eh!

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

darn it remind, I was hoping for advancement....Tongue out

Michelle

bagkitty wrote:

Interesting. I wonder if she can intinctively grasp the pain of someone working is a less prestigious field at being summarily terminated. Or does she only have sympathy for someone of her own class?

Why assume she couldn't?

Also, being fired from a "less prestigious" job is not necessarily the same kind of career ender as being denied tenure.  Once you're denied tenure, it sounds like word gets around and you're "marked".  It would be hard to start again in another school - what university wants to take on a professor that some other school has proclaimed is not good enough for them?  It would be like your school is taking their leavings.  And there's no way to gloss it over in your CV, because you need all the academic work you did at that school as experience when looking for other positions.

That doesn't happen when you get fired from a secretary job, or McDonald's.

Unionist

Is tenure for academics actually being attacked on a progressive discussion board? What's next - freedom of conscience? I guess we have to re-fight the same battles every few centuries so that we don't forget. Ask Norman Finkelstein about how tenure is a "class" thing.

 

remind remind's picture

Quote:
That doesn't happen when you get fired from a secretary job.

 

You are not seriously stating that are you?

 

tenure is decidedly...... academics need to  join a union and be an instructor, as opposed to getting what is basically a lifelong Senator's position, because you can smooze to your "peers" well, and self promote self promote self promote, and because your students give you good reviews because they want good grades from you in order to become part of the whole "academic process too.

Michelle

Of course I'm seriously stating that.  As someone who has always had "less prestigious jobs," it's obvious to me that being fired from one of them wouldn't have ended my career in that field the way being denied tenure would have.

And by the way, academics often ARE unionized.  Doesn't mean they don't have to go through the tenure process.

Bacchus

Tenure doesnt mean unemployment, it just means guaranteed employment

KenS

Dose of reality:

If you don't get tenure- you have less security and basic respect than an average worker doing anything else.

You are on the severely dehumanizing treadmill of being in the casual labour pool for academics. Applying hither and yon, where choosing where you want to live is just flat out unrealistic: go where you can get a position- any position- or get out.

Thats a brutal reality few of us face.

Unionist

Tenure is about academic freedom. It has nothing to do with the fight for job security in other walks of life, which of course is an essential one.

Doug

remind wrote:

Personally think tenure needs to be gone......all of it.

 

It's often abused but I still think in the net it's a good thing. Professors do need the protection to be able to research controversial ideas.

remind remind's picture

Perhaps it is your location or something Michelle, but out here people who get fired, usually do not get equivalent jobs, no matter what level of job they have.

 

Indeed the fired usually go down a notch or more in the whole class distinction job categories world.

 

Being denied tenure should not end careers, and that it does is the first telling tale that tenure should NOT exist.

Unionist

I think there's some confusion going on here:

Wikipedia wrote:
Academic tenure is primarily intended to guarantee the right to academic freedom: it protects teachers and researchers when they dissent from prevailing opinion, openly disagree with authorities of any sort, or spend time on unfashionable topics. Thus academic tenure is similar to the lifetime tenure that protects some judges from external pressure. Without job security, the scholarly community as a whole might favor "safe" lines of inquiry. The intent of tenure is to allow original ideas to be more likely to arise, by giving scholars the intellectual autonomy to investigate the problems and solutions about which they are most passionate, and to report their honest conclusions. In economies where higher education is provided by the private sector, tenure also has the effect of helping to ensure the integrity of the grading system. Absent tenure, professors could be pressured by administrators to issue higher grades for attracting and keeping a greater number of students.

Doug

KenS wrote:

If you don't get tenure- you have less security and basic respect than an average worker doing anything else.

You are on the severely dehumanizing treadmill of being in the casual labour pool for academics. Applying hither and yon, where choosing where you want to live is just flat out unrealistic: go where you can get a position- any position- or get out.

Thats a brutal reality few of us face.

 

That may have been true at one time but with the "average" job getting more temporary and contingent I'm not sure that it's so now. Certainly that's the situation a lot of self-employed people face, Many other workers don't have the carrot of possible tenure waiting as a reward for their efforts.

remind remind's picture

"Less security",  it seems some have  totally non-realistic life experiences which denotes their class level that they apparently want to keep.

 

Try being a "welfare mom" or a First Nations person trying to get a job, or even a decent place to live.

 

If Tenure  denoted that  these days Unionist, I might believe it was still useful.

 

 

Unionist

You may be right, remind, that tenure doesn't always live up to its historical origins. But even so, the answer to precarious employment for workers is not to remove "privileges" from teachers and researchers. And moves to abolish tenure invariably originate with the right.

 

 

remind remind's picture

When "teachers and researchers" start giving a shit about everyone else, perhaps I will give them some consideration.....for their alleged job plight.

jas

Unionist wrote:

And moves to abolish tenure invariably originate with the right.

Really?

torontoprofessor

Tenure is one of the sweetest deals known to humankind, and I fully appreciate why people think it should be abolished. In the end, I don't agree that it should be abolished, but perhaps that is an argument for another thread.
How bad is it to be denied tenure? I'll take my own subdiscipline as an example: there are two to four jobs in my subdiscipline, in the English-speaking world, every year. (In the discipline as a whole, there  are about 200 jobs every year in the English-speaking world: most of these are targeted at recent PhDs, not at people recently denied tenure.) A friend of mine just completed a PhD in 18th century British History: there were six jobs, in the continent, for which she was a plausible candidate. If I had been denied tenure, then I would have either (1) had to leave the profession, or (2) had to move across the continent to remain in the profession. In Canada, a job in my subdiscipline appears once every four to five years. Few other people have to move across the continent, probably to another country, to stay in their profession if they are laid off. I might add that the chances of landing one of those four jobs would have been slim. First, a job in my field typically has 100 to 200 candidates. Second, most tenured jobs are aimed at people who already have tenure, not people who have been denied tenure. Third, most untenured jobs are aimed at recently minted PhDs.
That said, I would have survived a tenure denial. I would have had to leave the profession and start a new career. I would have probably gone back to school, maybe law school or business school or teacher's college. I would have been OK. Being denied tenure is not the end of the world. But it is typically the end of a career, and of a place in a profession that you've been in for fifteen to twenty years, if we include grad school and post-docs. Very few professions have this feature. If you don't make partner (the equivalent to tenure) at a Toronto law firm, there are tens of other law firms within commuting distance. Some other professions do have this feature: if the flautist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is let go, then s/he probably has to move across the continent to stay in the profession. And jobs playing the flute are scarce. (I gather that symphony orchestras have something akin to tenure, but I'm not sure.)
Other points: (1) It makes a huge difference where you're denied tenure. In my discipline, only one untenured faculty member has been granted tenure at Yale since the early 1980s. Everyone else was either denied or left before the hammer came down. But, since everyone in the discipline knows the practices at Yale, there is no stigma attached to being denied tenure there, and it is not the end of your career. Offhand, I personally know people who were denied tenure at Yale and who now have or have had tenure at Columbia, Birckbeck, Northwestern, Willamette, Cornell, Texas (Austin), Tel Aviv, Postdam, etc. Even in these cases, the indivduals concerned had to move across the continent or even across the water in order to stay in the profession. And they had to have extremely understanding spouses to pull this off.
(2) At most institutions (Yale is an exception), the vast majority of people do get tenure. In my discipline at the University of Toronto, every candidate has been granted tenure for the last 30 or 40 years. This is why being denied tenure at Toronto would be so devastating: unlike Yale, it would carry a huge stigma, and it would be hard to continue in the profession.
(3) For better or worse, many academics think of their professional community as their main community. The quoted author is right: being denied tenure frequently means not only the loss of a job, but the loss of your primary community. Also the loss of many friends. In my own case, many of my friends, scattered all over North America (old grad school friends, new friends made along the way, etc.), are people I see only at conferences. If I were to leave the profession, I'd likely never see most of them again.
(4) AS I said in my opening remark, tenure is one of the sweetest deals known to humankind. One might argue that it should be much harder to get than it currently is. I'm not sure. But I think that's a debate for another thread.
I've cross-posted with a lot of people. I'll read those posts now....

remind remind's picture

Well.... take that with a grain of salt Jas, as unionist professes to believe people should NOT own homes, and if they do, they are not "progressives".

 

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I also find it disturbing that tenure is being attacked by babblers. I can only assume that they don't really know what it means. Unionist's links are helpful. While tenure might influence the university as an institution of the elite and powerful, it is also an instrument of academic freedom, good employment practice and the commonwealth of learning and scholarship, which drives higher education.

Unionist

remind wrote:

Well.... take that with a grain of salt Jas, as unionist professes to believe people should NOT own homes, and if they do, they are not "progressives".

And remind believes (and I have this on excellent authority) that purple ring-tailed monsters inhabit Kicking Horse Pass, which is why she has an untreatable fear of railway tracks and Confederation.

Ok, jas - is there anyone else we can hallucinate about in the 3rd person now?

ETA: On a somewhat more serious note, the existence of people who would happily fire academics using the kinds of "arguments" we've seen in this thread is one of the best proofs of the need for tenure THAT I'VE SEEN IN AGES.

 

remind remind's picture

"back in your place you blue collar babblers, don't you know we  academic elites know what is best for you, and we need tenure to prove it, no dissention allowed, or we will unfairly maligne you, just as we do to those  of our "peers"  whom we do not want to have tenure......"

 

unionist, do I have to go get the quote where you stated that, for not the first time I might add?

 

 

BillBC

I am also tenured, and have been for a very long time, and yes, it is a sweet deal, but probably necessary.  Everything Torontoprofessor said is true, and I can't add much to his comments.  As he says, it matters a great deal where you are denied--at Yale, and at an equivalent place where I was a visiting prof., people could see it coming, and left for less prestigious places.  I've never seen anyone denied tenure in my field of study anywhere I worked, though I know a couple of people who should have been.  Instead they got tenure, and loafed through the decades.

I suspect without any direct knowledge at all, so it is only supposition, that the woman in Alabama was a non performer and a seriously disruptive colleague.  She'd have to be pretty bad to be denied tenure there.  But I have no proof of this.

As for freedom of speech, I don't think it's been in much danger at universities for quite a long time, tenure or no tenure....that's what faculty unions and faculty associations are for...

E.P.Houle

Some form of job protection is a right, that we fight for. Every business has, neccessarily, some form of probation for new workers to weed out the thieves, racists, nutbars, time-wasters and homicidal control freaks that would challenge the existing power structure and the ability to produce product. She certainly could have gotten a job at the local jr. college; being denied is not a career ender, it just means you need to move to someplace you'll fit in. Shooting people in staff meetings is a career ender in any company I would chose to work in. I also won't do bad work, I'll also work at tasks that I'm overly paid for and qualified for if there's no one else.

It seems appropriate that at this august forum that we should occassionally talk about work; it's right on topic. Up the revolution!

Unionist

remind wrote:

unionist, do I have to go get the quote where you stated that, for not the first time I might add?

 

Where I said that home ownership is not for progressives? Yeah, remind, o ye of the bookmarks - go get it - but make sure you put a hefty bet down here first, in public. How about the title deed to your home? C'mon, make it worth my while.

 

Unionist

BillBC wrote:

As for freedom of speech, I don't think it's been in much danger at universities for quite a long time, tenure or no tenure....that's what faculty unions and faculty associations are for...

Wow. Really. Try googling Finkelstein and tenure. Or wait, I'll help you out:

[url=http://www.counterpunch.org/jensen05252007.html]What the Finkelstein Tenure Fight Tells Us About Academia[/url]

[url=http://www.counterpunch.org/afghani07042007.html]Norman Finkelstein and the Perils of Impeccable Scholarship[/url]

[url=http://vodpod.com/watch/1377021-chomsky-on-dershowitz-jihad-against-fink... on Dershowitz's "Jihad" against Finkelstein (Video)[/url]

 

torontoprofessor

remind, of course having tenure denied is not nearly as hard as "being a "welfare mom" or a First Nations person trying to get a job, or even a decent place to live." Most academics who are denied tenure manage to do very well for themselves, even if they have to leave their professions and train for a new one. I've met plenty of former professors who, after having been denied tenure, ended up in much more lucrative professions. This does not mean that we should abolish tenure.

And, Unionist, while I am in favour of maintaining tenure (especially my own!), I do know people, even academics, who argue from the left against tenure. Tenure is, after all, a stunning privilege, typically held by people of high socio-economic class. And, sadly, many of us very privileged people take it entirely for granted -- indeed, I've met too many who almost see it as their birthright.

BillBC

"Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure at DePaul University for one primary reason - his impeccable scholarship."

Where was his faculty union?  If he was the victim of a slander campaign directed from outside, and if it affected the tenure committee's decision, his union should have taken action.  That's what we pay union dues for.

I can't judge the case because I don't know the details.  He could easily be a victim, as the sites you mention suggest.  Or not; I don't know.

 

jas

torontoprof, surely there are some conditions to maintaining tenure? Or there could be? Where does the "publish or perish" maxim come from?

remind remind's picture

here ya go unionist, though as I said before, unlike  others I do not keep links  book marked on people's posts, and had to search for it, of note it is the last time that I have read that you noted this, and I ain't bothering to look for the times prior.

Quote:
Progressive people aren't libertarians or rugged individualists. We don't believe in "property rights", for example. We don't believe in the "right" to buy and sell firearms. We don't believe in the "right" to say whatever you want, regardless of the impact on others. And we certainly don't believe in the "right" of one country or people to dictate "morality" to another.

 

http://rabble.ca/comment/1108282/Could-you-be-more-specific

 

and this indicates why tenure should, and will, be abolished:

Quote:
Tenure is, after all, a stunning privilege, typically held by people of high socio-economic class....too many who almost see it as their birthright.

 

BillBC

jas..."publish or perish" refers to the tenure process.  If you don't publish, you don't get tenure.  After you get tenure, it's difficult if not impossible to be fired unless you do something outrageous, usually of a sexual nature, or if you are caught in some academic offence like gross plagiarism.

Once you get tenure, if you publish nothing, you won't be fired, you will just stay an assistant prof for the rest of your career, though at my place they've introduced a review process for real non-performers that theoretically could see people fired, tenured or not.  But the standard to avoid such a fate is pretty low.

torontoprofessor

jas, yes there are conditions on maintaining tenure. But they are not very stringent.

I am expected to teach, engage in research, and lend administrative service to my department, my faculty, and my profession (by serving on committees, serving as a journal editor, serving in various administrative roles in the department, and so on). At Toronto, it's supposed to be 40/40/20.

But, realistically, I could simply "retire" from everything but teaching and still maintain tenure and my full salary. I could simply stop publishing, and refuse all administrative requests. I could also be a lousy teacher, as long as I maintained basic minimum standards. I could basically put in a ten-hour week, if I wanted to, and maintain my position and my salary. I would stop getting good raises (though I'd still get the "across the board" 2%), and my colleagues would talk about me behind my back and stop inviting me to parties. I would have to completely change my social life, since it revolves around my department and depends on my colleagues' respect, which I would lose. But I would keep my job and salary, and even 2% raises.

I would flirt with dismissal if I simply stopped coming to class, or started sexually harassing or threatening my students or colleagues. But even then, I would first be sent to counselling, and maybe put on long-term disability instead of being fired. But, probably, if I simply refused to do the minimum required to teach my classes, I'd be fired. If it was proved that I had engaged in any academic misconduct, such as plagiarism or cooking the experimental books in order to get the results I wanted, I'd be advised to resign or fired on the spot. If I mismanaged research funds in some grossly corrupt way, I'd probably also be fired.

I do want to note that the vast majority of tenured faculty don't just do the minimum to maintain their jobs. Most of us continue to do research at the same rate as we did pre-tenure, and most of us put a considerable amount of effort serving our departments, faculties, universities and professions. Most of us have huge egos mixed with massive insecurities, and the thought of losing our colleagues' respect is almost as bad as the thought of losing our jobs. It's the thought of losing that respect that keeps us honest.

torontoprofessor

Oh, and BillBC is right: "publish or perish" does not apply to tenured faculty.

BillBC

I agree completely with Torontoprofessor's post, except we get only 1%....

Joey Ramone

Remind, I would not object to being called a "libertarian socialist", and I might have lots of differences with Unionist, but it's pretty clear that he meant that property rights should not be constitutionally protected, not that "progressive" people should not own their own homes or other property.

Unionist

torontoprofessor wrote:

And, Unionist, while I am in favour of maintaining tenure (especially my own!), I do know people, even academics, who argue from the left against tenure.

Before I cite 100 links calling for abolition of tenure from right-wing fanatics like Francis Fukuyama and David Horowitz and garbage like:

Quote:
Tenure is supposed to foster academic freedom on our nation’s campuses. Instead, it fosters socialism, laziness, and incivility. I would enjoy my job a lot more without it. And, more importantly, our children would get a much better education.

... how about citing one, single, left-wing source that opposes tenure??

As for remind, thanks for finding that quote, which I stand by 100%, and which only in someone's guilty conscience could be misinterpreted as referring to home ownership!

Joey Ramone wrote:
Remind, I would not object to being called a "libertarian socialist", and I might have lots of differences with Unionist, but it's pretty clear that he meant that property rights should not be constitutionally protected, not that "progressive" people should not own their own homes or other property.

Why thank you, Joey, for reading what I said and actually understanding it - but do you really think that will change remind's mind? You haven't been here long enough if you do.

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Well the discussion on tenure itself is also interesting, but I go back to my original point... would a worker who had opened fire on either co-workers or managers at the place where they had worked been written about in a fashion that so expressed sympathy for them: the stresses unique to their workplace, to the threat to their livelihood, to the shattering of their self-image? Would the author of the piece have "instinctively grasped the pain" of the secretary or McDonald's worker that Michelle referred to? Would an article about one of these other people have even made it into the pages of Psychology Today?

torontoprofessor

Unionist wrote:
torontoprofessor wrote:
And, Unionist, while I am in favour of maintaining tenure (especially my own!), I do know people, even academics, who argue from the left against tenure.
Before I cite 100 links calling for abolition of tenure from right-wing fanatics like Francis Fukuyama and David Horowitz and garbage like:... ... how about citing one, single, left-wing source that opposes tenure??

 

Here's a left-wing source opposing tenure. More seriously, I was thinking of personal conversations around the water-cooler. I will, however, use google to see if I can find any lefties oposing tenure online.

remind remind's picture

Unionist,  hey go ahead and pretend otherwise, in order to slander me..even though you have stated you rent and will not own a home for that very reason.

 

As TO professor stated tenure is all for the already high economic people, but it is "progressive" to support that " elite class", afterall us blue collar proles should learn our place.....we would know sfa about life, if not for the tenured.

 

 

 

remind remind's picture

Exactly bagkitty.....

Unionist

remind wrote:

Unionist,  hey go ahead and pretend otherwise, in order to slander me..even though you have stated you rent and will not own a home for that very reason.

To slander you! Scroll up and wake up. And by the way, my bet is still on - stake your home on the fairy tale you made up about me if you trust your own memory. But if you had a shred of respect for a fellow babbler, you would know that I could never have made such a horrendous and stupid statement such as, "progressive people don't own homes". The fact that your memory could play this trick on you speaks volumes about how you see other people.

Quote:
As TO professor stated tenure is all for the already high economic people, but it is "progressive" to support that " elite class", afterall us blue collar proles should learn our place.....we would know sfa about life, if not for the tenured.

 

As I said, without tenure, people with your notions would make decisions about whether academics could preserve their positions or not - and that's the best argument I can ever imagine for the need for tenure.

 

Unionist

torontoprofessor wrote:

 I will, however, use google to see if I can find any lefties oposing tenure online.

I wish you luck. But I also invite you to ponder why, even if you find one, the right-wing opponents of tenure will outnumber them 100 to 1. Will you at least concur with that proposition, or do I really need to crawl through the muck of the anti-intellectual dinosaur crowd?

And if you do concur, how would you explain that phenomenon? Doesn't it seem counterintuitive that the left would be defending a perk of the allegedly wealthy and comfortable, while the extreme right would be knocking it down? Just look at some of the "arguments" in this very thread?

 

 

BillBC

Unionist wrote:

 

And if you do concur, how would you explain that phenomenon? Doesn't it seem counterintuitive that the left would be defending a perk of the allegedly wealthy and comfortable, while the extreme right would be knocking it down? Just look at some of the "arguments" in this very thread?

 

 

 

I've always thought that most assaults on tenure come from the Right because universities, at least in Canada are, if not lefty, at least fairly progressive, and probably to the left of the general population.  Why then would lefties attack tenure, except as a bastion of privelege?

theboxman

Shouldn't the point be to extend the principles of tenure (if not necessarily in the exact form it takes in academia) to other classes and other areas of labor as opposed to engaging in a race to the bottom. 

Also, since apparently teachers and researchers don't give a shit about anybody else according to some, I guess none of the work of the likes of Noam Chomsky or Angela Davis really counts for much, given that the removal of tenure protection would have probably led to their dismissals from their respective institutions decades ago.

I echo Unionist's surprise that tenure is even up for debate on an ostensibly progressive board. 

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