[iDC] tenure and visibility

ryan griffis grifray at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 5 13:22:38 EDT 2005

while there are problems with the tenure process - it's ability to turn 
peers into micromanagers and judges - to suggest that non-tenure 
teaching is a real alternative for most people is ridiculous (private 
schools that have full time contracts independent of tenure excepted).
part timers aren't hired because they're "innovative" anymore than 
indonesians are for being master shoe makers. and many adjuncts are 
finding that growing grad programs are providing a labor pool that 
accepts even less money - in fact they're pretty much paying for their 
own experience.
the tenure process may turn many of the people going through it into 
self-obsessed walking CVs, but commuting to 3+ different schools to 
make just above minimum wage with no health benefits and no guarantee 
of a job next term (not too mention where the people you work "with" 
don't even know who you are) can do something to you too. i'll take a 
few faculty meetings if it means i can afford to go to the dentist and 
the doctor if needed.
this is not just short term maneuvering by the university system...
an older article from the Chronicle (of all places) using the former 
Invisible Adjunct to discuss the myth of the academic meritocracy and 
the pyramid scheme that is graduate school.
The situation John brings up about science and info accessibility is 
indeed interesting, but in some cases, staying below the public radar 
is just not possible.

On Apr 5, 2005, at 9:00 AM, idc-request at bbs.thing.net wrote:

> It is painfully clear that the 'radicals' who entered academia in the
> late 60's and early 70's have benefited materially from tenure, but
> the benefits to academic freedom have been put aside for salary
> fights and politically-correct posturing.  Stability is
> In a sense, the moves towards adjunct teaching do make short-term
> sense for universities -- except that the people doing the innovative
> teaching don't get rewarded, this is a long-term viability problem...
> I frankly have taken the pathway NOT to go for a tenure position
> having seen what the process it does to the majority of people I
> know.  The key advantage: I don't have to go tot faculty meetings
> anywhere ;-))

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