Post Academic


The Tenure Debate, Again: You First. No, You First.

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by postacademic on July 30, 2010
Tags: , , , ,

More or Less Bunk took a page from Bill Maher and set a New Rule: “Any professor who thinks tenure should be scrapped must give up theirs first.”

That rule sure would stop the endless circular debates that never result in anybody doing anything about the number and quality of jobs in academia (or the education provided to students, for that matter). There are a few individuals, though, who are either letting go of tenure or just letting go, period. Consider the following examples:

1. The Self-Described “Worst Professor Ever”: This philosophy PhD got a job and left it. On her way out, she torched her PhD while wearing a Bettie Page wig. Best of all, she shared the photos with the online masses. That’s the best job departure since the one seen in the Dave Chappelle stoner opus Half Baked.

2. The Tenured Prof Who Moved for Love: This professor entered the Hamster World when his girlfriend decided she wanted to get a PhD herself. He said, “It wouldn’t be a story if I were a woman, because thousands of women do this every year.” True, that. But you don’t see professors giving up a tenured job for the Hamster World, either.

3. Leaving Academia and Escape From the Ivory Tower. Okay, no Bettie Page references or romantic undercurrents, but solid advice for anyone wondering what else can be done with a PhD.

The words and actions of just a few people show that tenure may not be the end-all, be-all for the intellectually inclined. Again, I am a Hamster, not an academic, and I am pro-tenure because I don’t want market forces to determine who teaches what when. But skepticism toward institutions is always healthy. Skepticism built more than a few academic careers, didn’t it?


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