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News: The Disappearing Tenure-Track Job – Inside Higher Ed

May 12, 2009
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The growth in these jobs — and the decline in tenure-track positions — was found in all sectors of higher education, but was most apparent at community colleges. However, one of the most notable shifts was at public four-year colleges and universities, where over the period studied, tenured and tenure-track faculty members went from being a slight majority to less than 40 percent of faculty members. At the end point of the AFT study, tenured and tenure-track faculty members do not make a majority of faculties in any sector.

via News: The Disappearing Tenure-Track Job – Inside Higher Ed.

This is not a new trend, nor are these numbers surprising.  If you were surprised, you haven’t been paying attention.

It it not, though, about “justice” or fairness at all.  What is at stake are the very core notions of what it means to be at university.  Professors are the highest caste in our educational hierarchy.  They even wear creepy robes with hoods at the ceremonies.  It is they who attend the wine/cheese meet-n-greats with new candidates, bored with the current crop of untouchables.  Of course they want to hire from without–every one likes new blood.

The real bemoaning should be centered on the creation (or at least full disclosure of) of full-time positions, which given the overburdened market (see full disclosure call) has no incentive to create.  So, study computer science for a job, study the Humanities for a life as a missionary.

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