Thursday, June 9, 2011

Attack on tenure at Ohio University

Ohio University, a rather good public university that has sometimes been listed as one of our peers  (and, if I recall aright, it cleaned our clock by most measures) has instituted a new plan that looks like a pretty clear attack on tenure.  Or so at least is the argument presented by members of the local AAUP chapter. Ohio University has formally committed to hiring NTT rather than TT during the current crisis.

Such trends aren't limited to Ohio University, and should put us on guard.  Thus it is hardly an example of paranoia when the FA scrutinizes the new "imposed terms" and the threat they pose to tenure by making layoffs of tenured and tenure-track faculty far easier.

At SIUC, hiring trends over recent years have not led to a change in the proportion of NTT and TT on campus (you can check the figures at the SIUC IRS "Quick Facts" website).  This is good news, and shows that this institution has not yet given in to the trend replace TT faculty with adjuncts.  The FA contract contains a student-Faculty ratio (where capital-F Faculty means tenured or tenure-track faculty), which is designed to prevent the downgrading of faculty positions, and has done so successfully so far. The troubling trend here has rather been the increase in Professional AP and Professional CS staffing, while faculty of all sorts have stayed about constant (until losses from Fall 2009 till Fall 2010).

That is, the problem is not necessarily that SIUC is spending too little money on faculty, or downgrading the status of faculty positions (by turning to adjuncts--at least so far) but rather that faculty of all sorts are accounting for a smaller and smaller proportion of overall spending. Hence saying faculty must be cut in tough budgetary times doesn't ring true.


  1. See also the following -

  2. SIUC is going in the wrong direction; more focus on administration and less on academics. I feel SIUC's top administrators are incompetent and inexperienced. SIUC may be able to inch up in enrollment but will be foot down in quality because of low morale. When team members (faculty and staff) are treated disrespectfully, you cannot expect loyalty and hardwork from them. Good Luck SIUC!


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