16 February 2010

Tenure is not a job for life

I’m tired of tenure being described as “a job for life.”

Tenured people can, and do, get fired or laid off . There is post tenure review. Universities can decide to eliminate entire academic programs. Or they can say, “financial exigencies.”

Is it rare that a tenured professor loses his or her job? Yes. Is it impossible? No. And I suspect it will be more likely to happen as the economy continues to sputter. Whether shots like this in the U.K. are opening salvos or individual snipes are hard to say.

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