Council of Independent Colleges panel lists tenure as 'negotiable'
- At the annual meeting of the Council of Independent Colleges, a panel of presidents drafted a list of “essential” and “negotiable” elements for the future of higher education institutions, including tenure on the negotiable list.
- Inside Higher Ed reports there wasn’t debate over including tenure on the negotiable side, but several college presidents said privately that it was essential on their campuses and they did not foresee that changing — though they defended other institutions’ rights to move away from it.
- Some institutions have found ways to commit to their faculty without tenure, finding a middle ground between the long-term employment guarantee and course-by-course contracts for adjuncts, but the president of the American Association of University Professors told Inside Higher Ed that tenure is the basis of academic freedom.
Higher education institutions, as a whole, have moved away from tenure by hiring more faculty in adjunct roles. This is a way to cut costs and make departments more flexible to fluctuations in demand. Rudy Fichtenbaum, head of the AAUP, points out private college faculty are especially vulnerable without tenure because they do not benefit from the first amendment and union protections that are guaranteed to their public school counterparts.
Besides tenure, the “negotiable” list included “the extent and depth of commitment to intercollegiate athletics.” A recent investigation by The Huffington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education breathed new life into the debate over athletics subsidies. Among CIC members, at least, it seems there is eroding support for the programs.
- Inside Higher Ed Is tenure essential?
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