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Academic Job Security Threatened As Anti-Tenure Wave Sweeps U.S.

SIDEBAR: For Further Information .. Academic Job Security FLEXIBILITY WANTED: University of Minnesota regent Patricia Spence cites budgetary uncertainty. Colleges and universities all over the United States are making changes-both major and minor-to the tenure system. Some have abolished it, opting for multiyear contracts with faculty, while others have adopted new codes that make it easier to fire tenured faculty members. Like other academic employees, scientists are feeling the constraints

Robert Finn

SIDEBAR: For Further Information .. Academic Job Security

Patricia Spence
FLEXIBILITY WANTED: University of Minnesota regent Patricia Spence cites budgetary uncertainty.
Colleges and universities all over the United States are making changes-both major and minor-to the tenure system. Some have abolished it, opting for multiyear contracts with faculty, while others have adopted new codes that make it easier to fire tenured faculty members. Like other academic employees, scientists are feeling the constraints of these changes, particularly the increasing tendency to depend on grant funding to supplement salaries.

"It's the largest anti-tenure wave in 25 years," notes Jordan E. Kurland, associate general secretary of the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of University Professors (AAUP). "The climate is stormy."

According to Matthew Finkin, Albert J. Harno Professor of Law at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and author of the new book The Case for Tenure (Ithaca, N.Y., ILR Press, 1996), no fewer than 23...

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