Author Topic: Will stripping professors of tenure make higher education better off?  (Read 4883 times)

Joe Carillo

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A new book that has just come off the press in the United States poses these provocative questions: Why not abolish tenure for college professors? Wouldn’t American higher education be better off if professors are not guaranteed job security?

In their book Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids—And What We Can Do About It (Holt/Times Books, 271 pages), Andrew Hacker, professor emeritus of political science at Queens College, and Claudia C. Dreifus, journalist and contributor to the science section of The New York Times, argue that the administrative glut in the American higher education system has become such an extremely costly behemoth.

Hacker and Dreyfus point out that while fewer undergraduates in the U.S. are being taught by full-time professors, the number of administrators keeps growing. “In 1976, for every 1,000 full-time students, there were 42 professional administrative staff members, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. By 2008, the most recent year available, there were 84. At the same time, the number of full-time faculty members for every 1,000 students has declined, from 65 to 55, due to the greater use of adjuncts and teaching assistants.”

The authors then ask in their book: What are the students and families receiving for the estimated quarter of a million dollars that they are spending for four years at a top-tier American university? “How did a college degree become the second most expensive purchase families will make in their lifetimes? And are young people getting good value for such an enormous investment?”

Read “Administrative Glut” by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus in The New York Times now!

Read “The End of Tenure?”, Christopher Shea’s review of Higher Education? in The New York Times now!

Read “Ignorance By Degrees,” Mark Bauerlein’s review of Higher Education? in The Wall Street Journal now!
Andrew Hacker, a professor at Queens College, is the author of the bestselling book Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal and writes regularly for the New York Review of Books and other publications. Claudia Dreifus writes for the “Science Times” section of The New York Times and teaches at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. The couple live in New York City.

In “Will the Book Survive Generation Text?”, an article he wrote for the August 29, 2010 issue of The Chronicle Review of Higher Education, Carlin Romano, the magazine’s critic at large and philosophy and humanities professor at Ursinus College, contemplates the death of the book as object of study and the disappearance of “whole” books as assigned reading. “Does that count as a preposterous figment of extreme academe, or is it closer than we think?” he asks.

Read Carlin Romano’s “Will the Book Survive Generation Text?” in The Chronicle now!

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 12:09:13 PM by jciadmin »