Tuesday, May 12, 2009

This isn't going to be news to anyone, but Inside Higher Ed points out that the tenure track is "disappearing."
"What was shocking to me, even though I think about this all the time, was that the percentage of tenure and tenure-track faculty has shrunk to almost a quarter," said Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress, the AFT chapter at the City University of New York. "The deterioration of staffing has reached a crisis point when only a quarter are tenured or tenure-track."

National discussions about higher education have focused on issues of cost, and Bowen said that it was important to involve students and parents in looking at academic staffing and its impact on the quality of education. "Part-time faculty have done an amazing job, especially under the circumstances that they work," Bowen said. "But I think parents and students are beginning to see the difficulty when the part-time faculty member you loved for English 101 is no longer there for English 201, or to write a recommendation. You don't have that continuity."

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