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Tenure...Chronicle story about tenure?

aloisia schmid a-schmi at uiuc.edu
Sat Dec 21 20:06:25 EST 1996

In article
<Pine.A41.3.95b.961221143630.29674A-100000 at dante15.u.washington.edu>,
Sarah Boomer <sarai at u.washington.edu> wrote:

>         Anyway - I'd like to see a little discussion of this issue because
> I am, frankly, of the opinion that tenure isn't really promoting the
> appropriate people and seems to create a lot of deadwood in the system.  I
> would personally like to see it dismantled for those reasons.  Perhaps I
> am too naive or I don't really understand what the effect it could have on
> people like on the many scientists who are in lower ranking positions? 

Acutally, Sarah and others---i have always been told that the whole idea
of tenure was that it was a way for professors doing politclaly unpopular
work to be guaranteed the opportunity to continue to do that (good?)
work.  But I cannot for the life of me think of examples in which a
professor's job was 1. either in serious jeopardy because of a poltical
movement--at least not in science----or 2. saved by the tenure system when
poltics really did get ugly on a more local level.  

So how long ago was tenure designed?  Until how recently was it necessary
to protect people?  How is it defended in debate now?

                           Also just wondering.....


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