Journal article

Tenure or Permanent Contracts in North American Higher Education? A Critical Assessment

Simon Batterbury

Policy Futures in Education | SAGE Publications | Published : 2008


This article offers a critical perspective on the academic tenure system in the USA. Academic tenure is most frequently defended for the protection it affords freedom of speech in higher education, and it is attacked for its cost and lack of flexibility in a rapidly changing sector. The paper makes a third argument, that tenure sustains an unhealthy divide between tenured, untenured, and non-tenure-track staff members. It leads to differences in status, income, and job satisfaction that are inimical to basic principles of social justice. While financial considerations are a powerful factor in university efforts to constrain or challenge tenure, the maintenance of the tenure system and its us..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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