The problem with academic tenure for all professors

Camille Botello, Staff writer

Linfield began announcing its tenure nominees. This is the most job security one can ever hope to attain, and the announcement will no doubt be not only a career-changing moment for some faculty, but also a life-changing one as well.

Linfield’s Board of Trustees and the college president nominate worthy professors for tenure based on five criteria: “teaching effectiveness, professional achievement within the field(s), and service to Linfield, their profession, and the community,” as stated by the college’s website.

These criteria are evaluated in part by students, but mostly colleagues and the chair of a professor’s given department.

Now, academic tenure seems like an appropriate way to ensure job security to expert professors who have put years of their lives into a particular institution, but there are problems with it as well.

For every professor who deserves tenure, there are probably a few who do not.

Since tenure gives professors a permanent position at a college, it makes it hard for them to be fired or even reprimanded for various incidents of misconduct.

Just imagine a professor habitually canceling class, misusing school resources or—God forbid—assaulting a student or faculty member. This professor would not deserve to stay at a college, right?

In these instances, merit could often times be thrown to the wind.

Although many hard-working and dedicated professors across the country are granted academic tenure every year, those that lose motivation after a certain point should not be guaranteed a job until retirement.
Without incentive, many people do not perform to their fullest capabilities, and that could include professors.