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Tenure and Higher Education
Does Tenure Work in Education or is it Outdated?
My position is that Tenure still works. The topic tenure has formed much intense discussion in current years. There is an argument by few that tenure is an outdated idea and concept, and, therefore, if institutions remain competitive, then for this purpose they actually need to be more expert as well as flexible to appoint and dismiss the teaching staff as per the changing needs of the students (Allen).
On the other hand, others have the argument that tenure is fundamental and important for the safety of academic autonomy. Thus, without tenure, it means all institutions will go back to the times when the staff was fired for teaching unpopular views (Abbot, 1988).
However, several state legislatures are there who have consented post-tenure evaluation for faculty. These include, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Florida. Moreover, in Florida and California new campuses have been made that do not include faculty tenure.
Furthermore, to the arguments about tenure, there are several institutes who have refused to fill out the tenure-track ranks since either faculty's retirement period begins or they give resignation in order to have better rank (Allen, 1996).
In addition, there is an increase in the numbers of faculty being appointed on a limited contract term of five years or even less. Also, there is also an increase in the numbers of part-time temporary faculty hired (NEA).
Support on the Argument: Tenure Still Works
Fair dismissal laws, referred to as "tenure," cover public school teachers in many states, providing remarkable job security. Thus, any district that needs to dismiss a tenured teacher has to experience a long process of hearings and appeals. Thus, of the objectives of tenure laws is to safeguard teachers from being fired just because of any political or individual opinion. However, the opponents may give the argument that tenure laws makes it hard for districts to dismiss incompetent and unprofessional teachers (Allen, 1996).
However, the fact is that since teachers are intrinsically in threat of being a victim to judgments that have been based upon political matter instead of being judged on merit and thus they should be assured of the due process. Therefore, still may institutes in spite of so much criticism follow the tenure laws (Allen).
Furthermore, since the supporters of removal of tenure have pointless argument that tenure safety for the teacher staff is useless since end results is in the incapability of administration department to eliminate bad to ordinary teachers to the loss of their students, one may observe through the researches done by National Education Association that that there are very few institutes or critics who believe that the tenure education is outdated, although the number of non-tenured teachers in increasing (Allen).
Thus, regardless of the effort made by few critics of higher education in order to misuse tenure as a scapegoat for an overabundance of institutional shortcomings and to proof it to be an outdated system, there have been no influential proof that tenured faculty is outdated and that the staff is doing their jobs (Allen).
There has been nothing found in the data collected across from all types of the postsecondary institutions where faculties' over load of work and performance suggests that the staff with tenure has ignored and overlooked teaching their students (Bess, 1988).
Furthermore, there has been no relevant research that may produce that these teachers don't recommend applicable research or scholarship, or encourage false ideologies in the classroom or anywhere else, or they even behave being uncertain in any decision making, thus, unsuccessful in claiming tenure to be an outmoded law (Bess, 1988).
For example, no empirical data has been yet found in the latest National Survey of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOPF-93) that has been carried out by the National Center on Education Statistics that may validate the idea of declining staff output among tenured faculty. This has been measured by the number of hours the staff works each week or the time they assign to their teaching responsibilities (Abbot, 1988).
Thus, higher education still maintains to be exemplified by tenured teacher staffs who direct their qualified and specialized hard work towards research, public service, administration, and teaching. The evidence thus, reveals that since tenured faculty is more productive than before in this period, therefore, it is not outdated (Allen, 1996).
The Role of Tenure in Educational Institutes
The introduction of tenure in American colleges and universities was made in early 19th century. This was done in reply to decades of public debates and arguments of the random removal of faculty members for holding unaccepted opinions, thus, leading to one of the most distinguished cases that led to tenure involved President of Brown University Mr. Andrews (John).
Furthermore, it was in the late 19th century, that he supported the free currency of silver as a process to stop devaluation in the American economy but it resulted in the angered members of the Brown Corporation (John). They asked President Andrews to cease his public support for this issue. However, it led to a national argument through letters to the editor (John).
Thus, this story showed a fervent national debate fumed over academic autonomy before the placement of tenure in American higher education. Furthermore, in the late 1940's, in Urbana at the University of Illinois fired a group of untenured economists, all of whom were later differentiated careers, for teaching the "heresy" of Keynesian economics (John).
Other then a problem for the American system of higher education, tenure is considered to the main reason for the success of higher education and that is why its is still implemented in the education system. It provides its staff members the stakeholders in their institutions; along with it they give them an inducement to keep up the high standards, chiefly in staff hiring, promotions, and the giving of tenure (Abbot, 1988).
In almost half of the institutions, tenure still stands where the teachers gain as professionals from upholding of standards and go through from their decline. Thus, without tenure the staff members would have been appointed on contract basis. Although due to the believe of few institutes that the tenure would lower the hurdle to have those employee of faculty continue who are later found out to be badly qualified (Blau, 1973).
The reasons according to for this may be that a mistake in decision at the initial major reappointment obstacle will be taken as less costly to fix under a contract term system as compare with tenure, resulting in more errors (Blau, 1973).
However, still there are a quite a number of institutes that believe in the importance of tenure and emphasize by taking into account the nature of academic units in colleges and universities where such units are not businesses and therefore, cannot be run in that manner too (John). Therefore, through tenure these universities and colleges give a variety of course and research topics that have been practiced by the staff teachers in a distinctive academic department since it is so big that it would not be possible for one teacher only to master, or let alone direct (John).
Thus, through tenure, it gives the institutes a better representation of an academic department comprising of responsible faulty members. These successful institutes provide their faulty members certain rights (John). Just as the Constitution of U.S. And the Bill of Rights give its people the freedom of expression as well as the right of assembly, in the same way the practice of tenure laws in may institutes act the role for academic departments by giving each tenure teacher the protection they need to completely participate in the life of their subject departments without giving the fear of dismissal for sharing any unpopular ideas (Abbot, 1988).
Thus, it can be said that tenure is an important part in the educational system, which is still practiced and is not outdated. However, many argue that it is an outdated system also because these faculty members being at risk for having discussed unpopular views in the classroom (John).
At the same time many opined that tenure is not outmoded and still receives a lot of attention today also as well as being implemented and works at more tan half of the educational institutes (John). However, it is generally believed that the increase cost of any university education having tenure system is due to an expensive professorate (John).
A study at Brown University few years ago reveled that less than 16% of Brown's non-residential budget is presently spent on faculty reimbursement for instruction. However, despite of the fact what salaries are being given to faculty, they are not the reason of high tuitions (John).
Another important reason for its not being outdated is that there are a number of universities who still have not gone through the experience of the struggling changes that have been undergone by American businesses in order to make them themselves more reasonable as well as competitive from business point-of-view (Blau,…[continue]
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