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Tenure In Higher Education Essay

1212 words - 5 pages

English 201 Rhetoric and Composition II Argumentation6/20/2005TENURE IN HIGHER EDUCATIONTenure is a topic that has produced much hatred discussion in recent years. Some argue that tenure is an outdated concept, and if institutions are going to stay in a competive nature, they need to be able to have more flexibility to hire and fire faculty as student needs change. Others argue that tenure is vital to the protection of academic freedom and that without tenure we will return to the days when faculty were dismissed for teaching unpopular opinions. The practice of tenure at most universities seems to come under fire. Some say that tenure is the best interest of the students. (NEA Higher Education)As stated on the NEA website institutions have not been filling tenure-track positions as faculty retire or resign to take another position. Instead we are seeing an increase in the numbers of faculty hired on limited term contracts of five years or less and an increase in the numbers of part-time temporary faculty hired.The definition of tenure is very complicated in some ways if you are not familiar with the concept and the means of how it is done. Under the tenure system, newly hired full-time faculty have to go with a multi year probationary period during which there work is continually evaluated, and this is a very stressful time in a persons' life to be constantly monitored in a way we all hate.(NEA) During this time, they are subject to non-renewal of their employment contract without recourse. So a person that put in all there time and energy can be let go at any time during there time as trying to get tenure for themselves and to become stable in there workplace. At the end of the probationary period, they are evaluated yet again. At that time, if faculty peers and the college management agree, the faculty member is awarded tenure, which means that his or her position is now based on a presumption of continuing employment.For the faculty getting tenure is a very stressful time in ones life they may and will work very hard and put off even having a family until after the teacher have been threw the tenure process. But tenure is not a lifetime guarantee; it is a right to due process. It means that a college or university cannot fire a tenured professor without presenting evidence that the professor is incompetent or the institution is in grave financial difficulty. Aside from facing the possibility of dismissal, the teaching, research and service performance of tenured professors continues to be evaluated throughout there careers for among other things, promotion, salary increases, grants, professional development. Inevitability, this will sometimes mean that professors challenge establishing interest as well as the conventional wisdom of any field. Tenure gives faculty the independence to speak out about contentious matters and yes to challenge the administration on issues of new curriculum and the quality, without putting their jobs on the line. A...

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