In this assignment I have discussed whether a system of tenure is necessary at a teaching-centered institution. I have considered the need for professional development, scholarship (i.e. publication of scholarly research), and service to the institution.
Gallagher (2007) defines tenure as a series of guarantees to a professor that may include continuous employment until retirement or resignation; economic security, in terms of salary and benefits, support for teaching and scholarship; and involvement in the academic mission of the institution.
An article written by Todd (2004) stated that by the time he retired in 2000, the regular and growing use of adjuncts had become a nationwide phenomenon in higher education, and at his university approximately 30 percent of the faculty was adjuncts. In this assignment adjuncts faculty and nontenure faculty is used interchangeable. Todd argued that what had once been a category for special temporary teaching arrangements had become an administrative device for hiring teachers without having to pay for the rights and privileges of tenure –track positions such as health insurance and pension contributions.
Todd continues to show that the extensive use of adjuncts in place of tenure track- positions reflects a crisis in higher education. The policy not only demeans the professoriate, it also crodes the process of shared governance in colleges and universities, promotes faculty inequity, undermines institutional allegiance and faculty morale, eliminates common standard for professional responsibilities and working conditions, and perhaps worse of all, by creating an atmosphere of arbitrary procedures and chronic job insecurity, it destroys the intellectual and creative self-confidence of professors that is central to the integrity of any college or university.
Reis (1999) article, discussed some advantages of tenure. He revealed that tenure has lots of pluses for faculty members such as freedom of expression as well as the security to develop a depth of expertise over time that is not usually possible under any other circumstances. He argued that having a system that encourages longevity, the institution benefits from the reduced costs associated with not having formal annual reviews and in having senior people available for administrative, governance, and mentoring responsibilities.