Academic Tenure – What is It?

“In a general sense, the term tenure describes the length of time that a person holds a job, position, or something of value. In the context of academic employment, tenure refers to a faculty appointment for an indefinite period of time. When an academic institution gives tenure to an educator, it gives up the right to terminate that person without good cause. Tenure is a therefore a contract provision that academic faculty members prize, universities provide, and just about everyone else criticizes. Nonetheless, tenure survives, mainly because faculty members aggressively demand it (even those who believe strongly in the value of markets) and because universities voluntarily negotiate it. Tenure’s long-term survival and the competitiveness of university labor markets suggest that the trade is mutually beneficial …” (more)

[University Blog on Academic Tenure in Ireland, 9 February]


2 Responses to “Academic Tenure – What is It?”

  1. Sean O Nuallain Says:

    I never wrote this; the definition given on my blog is;

    “Academic tenure, as promoted in this blog, is simply the following proposition; that in addition to the terms and conditions entered into by both parties in the contract when the teacher took office, there is one further such provision, that of intellectual freedom. This, in turn, is best defined as the rule that teachers at a university are to be as free of influence by their employer in their expression of opinion as judges are free of influence by their government in their judgements.”

    The irony, of course is that my “tenure” blog is really about academic freedom just as the current “academic freedom ” movement is really about permanency/tenure.

  2. Sean O Nuallain Says:

    …and I look on tenure as a support for academic freedom, a means to an end.

    As such, it certainly is necessary, and academic staff should indeed be prepared to strike for it

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