An Argument FOR Tenure

I was reading a blog from Swarthmore.edu and found an article by Easily Distracted entitled, Polenta Soup and the Terrible, Awful, No-Good Cost of Higher Education.”

What I thought particularly intriguing was the argument in favor of tenure:

Tenure itself costs little, by the way. Or more precisely, it costs nothing compared to the idea that you’d just keep extending the contracts of strong teachers and researchers until retirement. The cost of tenure is institutional and programmatic, not financial: it keeps a university from responding rapidly to changing trends in knowledge. Arguably, this is a good thing independent of its costs. Some believe that an important responsibility of academia is the conservation of intellectual traditions as opposed to chasing momentary trends. Tenure is only a financial cost if you want to follow the growing norm in white-collar labor of firing people when they’re in their fifties even if they’re still doing great work simply to save on their salaries. Maybe that is what some people want, to have everyone in the same miserable situation except for the billionaires. I’d rather see if the whole society can’t go in the opposite direction and increase job security for most people.

There is more at the original article. It’s an interesting read.

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