Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tenure: Economic Anomaly That Protects Laziness

From today's Wall Street Journal article "How to Succeed in Teaching Without Lifetime Tenure: The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering attracts 140 applicants for every faculty position. And they can even be fired" (paid subscription may be required to view full article, but see first comment below):

"Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts is showing what's possible when a school sheds tenure, one of the most antiquated and counterproductive employment policies in the American economy. Instituted at a time when people in most professions remained in the same job for life, tenure today is an economic anomaly. The policy protects laziness and incompetence — and rewards often obscure research rather than good teaching."

5 Comments:

At 11/20/2010 4:25 PM, Blogger Colin said...

Remember, if the link says subscriber only, just google the headline and then click on the link.

 
At 11/20/2010 10:35 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Where did the notion of academic freedom and tenure originate from in the U.S.? It emanated from the firing of Stanford economics professor Edwin Ross. Professor Ross believed in a currency backed by silver and was fired by Mrs. Leland Stanford who preferred the gold standard. Professor Ross's freedom of speech was of no consequence at the private Stanford.

The American Economic Association led an investigation into the silver backed currency firing. The results produced The American Association of University Professors. The association's goals at that time were: freedom of inquiry; freedom of teaching and freedom extramural utterance of action.

The goals of the association were worthy but professors should be obligated to achieve goals defined by their employers or get canned.

 
At 11/21/2010 1:44 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Eh, tenure is just another symbol of how backwards the current education system is, but when the entire system is about to destroyed by online learning, doing something about tenure now is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. :)

 
At 11/21/2010 1:58 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Tenure a problem?

Could be worse, consider what's happening in Mexico: Threats against professors, their families and their students have been posted recently. The extortionists want 50% of the tuition fee or they will hurt or kill anyone who doesn't adhere to their demands

 
At 11/21/2010 5:12 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

What does the professor union (American Association of University Professors) have to say on the current state of tenure?

From the AAUP Teaching and Teaching-Intensive Appointmentss 2010 report:

" Non-tenuretrack faculty and graduate students teach the majority of classes at many institutions, commonly at shockingly low rates of pay.

This compensation scheme has turned the professoriate into an irrational economic choice, denying the overwhelming majority of individuals the opportunity to consider college teaching as a career."


"professoriate is an irrational economic choice"!

 

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