Thursday, March 29, 2007

The End of Tenure

Forget all the debates over whether or not the tenure system ought to be abolished. When tenure actually does come to an end, it won't be because of some faculty senate resolution. It will simply be because the majority of us are part-time workers. This is the real attack on tenure. Inside Higher Ed writes:

A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that of the 1,314,506 faculty members at colleges that award federal financial aid in fall 2005, 624,753, or 47.5 percent, were in part-time positions.

The new report, “Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2005, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Faculty, 2005-06,” also finds the proportion of all professors who are tenured or on the tenure track to be shrinking. Of the 675,624 full-time faculty members at degree-granting colleges and universities in 2005, 414,574, or 61.4 percent, were either tenured or on the tenure track. That is down from the 411,031 of 630,419 (or 65.2 percent) of professors at degree-granting institutions who were tenured or tenure track in 2003.

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