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.