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December 21, 2011 4:41 PM Tenure Track for All

By Daniel Luzer

Delta

The human resources trend in higher education is to have very few tenure-track faculty and hire a lot of adjunct professors to teach students. It’s a trend that many academics deplore but it’s a good way for colleges to save money. Well one college isn’t going along with it.

According to a piece by Paul Fain at Inside Higher Ed:

Delta College [right], a two-year institution located in Michigan, has moved to make all of its full-time faculty positions either tenured or tenure-track. That means about 55 instructors at Delta have the option of replacing their one-year renewable contracts with tenure-track status.
The decision bucks a trend toward the hiring of adjunct professors and keeping them off the tenure track, at community colleges and across most of higher education. And the conversion of existing positions to tenured, as opposed to just hiring new professors, is considered the Holy Grail for adjunct advocates.

According to the article, Delta said this move won’t cost much and will help with recruiting. The college apparently explained that most professors already tend to stay at the school for many years, even without tenure.

Less than 18 percent of community college professors have tenure-track positions. About 27 percent of instructors across all institutions have tenure-track jobs. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

Comments

  • freelunch on December 22, 2011 9:31 AM:

    I blame North Central and the other regional accrediting agencies. How does a university provide adequate services to their students with adjunct and other temporary faculty? I don't question that the adjuncts are committed to being the best teachers they can be, but they are not given the time or resources to help the students the way tenure-track faculty are. The accreditation agencies need to ignore all temporary faculty when they look at the student-teacher ratio.