Rigid Tenure System Hurts Young Professors and Women, University Officials Say

Officials of 27 major research universities who met here in late September to discuss ways to make the tenure track more flexible said the lock-step, up-or-out nature of academic careers not only leaves no room for young professors to enjoy their family lives, but also hampers women's efforts to advance in the profession.

When tenure policies were established on campuses, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, "the work force really had a single focus -- on work," said Kathleen E.