AAUP Report Documents Changing Tenure Trends in U.S. Higher Education

October 22, 2018

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The tenured faculty position has been a tradition in U.S. higher education for many years, praised as a means for faculty to freely seek knowledge and express themselves without fear of retribution.

However, the number of tenure-track positions in the nation is on the decline. A recent report by the American Association of University Professors analyzed the tenure system in the United States and found that across all U.S. institutions in 2016, non-tenure track positions accounted for 73 percent of instructional positions. The decline of tenure-track positions was even greater at two-year institutions, where tenured faculty made up less than 20 percent of instructional positions.

The report concludes that the decline in available tenure-track positions could change the culture of higher education in a way that causes many faculty members to ultimately choose job security over the potential risks associated with advancing knowledge or expressing dissenting opinions.

Click here to read the report.

—Ben Schaap

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