Monday, June 13, 2011

The Plight of Adjunct Faculty and Academic Freedom as a Justification of Tenure

There are two articles included in this post.

1. There is a very interesting article about the plight of the adjunct faculty member which I have mentioned before, the original article is HERE. Basically you work harder (teach more classes), are paid less, have not job security, usually have to hold positions at multiple universities and it hurts your career prospects. 

2. Another article (HERE) suggests that the connection between academic freedom and tenure is no so tight as it may be thought to be. Tenure provides academics security in doing "risky" work, but now tenure is not happening at the age of peak productivity. Perhaps tenure should be reevaluated. 

Both of these situations seem important. The first one reestablishes my point in a recent post (HERE #6) that we need a way for professors to dig themselves out from their pedigree. It also seems that #MORE we should create a way for philosophers to dig themselves out from their employment history. one solution may be a further focus on publications. 

The second one seems like at least a start to a reevaluation of the concept of tenure. Why do we give tenure and who should we give it to.  The article seems to argue that productivity should be the main criterion but good ideas can take time to stew and writing a book is a much larger undertaking than being published. So even if this criterion is accepted, how do we measure it?
  • Any thoughts?
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