The American higher education dominated by tenure system has had a lot of controversies in the recent times in the United States of America education system.

WK5 – 508 – Assignment






The American higher education dominated by tenure system has had a lot of controversies in the recent times in the United States of America education system. The tenure system has been attacked heavily by entrenching lazy professoriate and at the same time has been defended as an importance for the defense of the open professional inquiries in the institutions. Moreover, the controversy sharpened recently in the year 1995 when the abolishment of the retirement for the older professors was made mandatory due to their productivity and the rising cost of the higher education (Giroux, 2006).

 Most of the universities in the United States of America such as the University of Minnesota came up with a policy based on the modest changes concerning the firing of the tenured faculty in case of misconduct. In the case where a department has to be eliminated, the university has to be obligated to reassign or perhaps retrain the faculty members instead of laying them off. This medium then shows that tenured have some rights in the department and they cannot be fired by the university but can only be reassigned or trained further to some level of their choice by the university. Some of the universities have tried their best to get rid or amend the policies to relieve some of the benefits enjoyed by the tenured faculty members in the universities.

A tenured professor or teacher is one who has been given a permanent post in the university or college. The most likely question that people ask is where the tenure lies and some have said at the departmental level, others at the university level while others at the school level (Devlin, 2002). Therefore, following the research conducted at one of the universities, it is vivid that the university is divided into different faculties which are headed by various departments. So based on the information we can say that it lies at the departmental level and not the university since the university is just a body or an umbrella that has different departments being controlled differently by their heads. We can also say that most of the operations take place at the department level and that is where we have different professors working for the university like the awarding of the results after examinations

Most of the professor who has attained tenure can enjoy several benefits like the right to know why he or she is being terminated and perhaps to know how much is to paid and many others. Therefore, since some of the departments which tend to reduce the salary for most of the workers in the university will find it hard on the side of the tenured teachers and professors in those institutions. According to the contract theory, tenure has the right to know anything happening that concerns him or her, and this privilege enable them to enjoy the fear of salary or any other interference. A pay cut for a tenured professor has to go through the tenure law supplementary services and the aid of the government to protect such workers in the society to motivate them and create an honest environment with justice. Therefore, a cut in the pay can only be discharged through an apparent reason that is portrayed in the contract (De George, 2003).

Most of the universities in the United States of America such as Texas came up with post-tenure reviews like every professor to undergo post-tenure review every year. The two consecutive substandard evaluations like the case of Olson v. Board of Higher Education where the professor was the one who was wrong would lead to a dismissal by the relevant authority. Therefore, the reviews can only be implemented if the policy is documented and is approved and placed on the contact sheets and all of the professors and the teachers are perhaps aware of the same (Kaplin & Lee, 2014). The implementation would also need a strict implementer, and the university can create disciplinary departments to look after such issues within the institutions. Moreover, the university can also involve the labor authorities of the states for implementations.

A negative review or perhaps unfair laws will lead to different problems within the university working system. For example where the review is; when a professor is found in a single justified mistake, he or she will have to be dismissed from the department. Ideally, such kinds of notions might create a hostile environment where the professor does not have the freedom and the peace of work (Piereson, 2005). Moreover, such and the others will lead to pressure from the workers and also from the labor departs requesting for amendments and therefore a waste of time and sometimes resources. Most of the universities in the state have tried to emulate and amend the benefits that the tenured professors are enjoying without consulting with the labor departments and the management, and this has led to some strict penalties and a hefty compensation to the tenure employees who had been dismissed through a biasing means.


De George, R. T. (2003). Ethics, academic freedom and academic tenure. Journal of Academic Ethics, 1(1), 11-25.

Devlin, M. E. (2002). Ford Policy Forum 2002: Exploring the Economics of Higher Education.

Giroux, H. A. (2006). Academic freedom under fire: The case for critical pedagogy. College Literature, 33(4), 1-42.

 Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2014). The law of higher education. (5th Ed., Student Version). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. ISBN: 978-1-118-03662-4

Piereson, J. (2005). The left university. Weekly Standard, 11(03).

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