by Daniel Bennett
Inside Higher Ed reported this morning that the University of Maryland shot down a proposal for an annual review of tenured faculty members. This story is just another example of college faculty grasping on to the tenure life boat for dear life. Now, I admit that the percentage of faculty who abuse the system is probably a small minority; however, those who do are ruining the party for everyone.
Rather than furthering the discussion of ways to fix a broken process, the attitude remains hostile towards imposing any sort of accountability for college faculty. The rest of America is subject to annual performance reviews and face consequences for failing to perform on the job, often without a landing net to soften the blow (such as the one year of additional employment as a parting gift afforded to the few and far between faculty that are dismissed). On college campuses, we often hear the term "the real world", referring to post graduation employment. While those of us who contributed to providing professors a job (via tuition and tax dollars) are faced with the reality of perform or hike, college professors continue with business as usual, with nearly zero accountability.
This issue has been rousing public sentiment and will continue to gain steam as outrage over inequities in our country come center stage. Continual resistance to change will inevitably lead to a day of reckoning in which faculty tenure is revered in history books as one of the most prolonged scams in contemporary society. The process has already begun, as evidenced by the percentage of college instructors with tenure continues to fall.