A disturbing development during ProfHacker’s summer vacation was the Wayne State University administration’s proposal, made during contract negotiations, to effectively eliminate tenure.
While the associate provost quoted in the Inside Higher Ed story characterizes the union as scaremongering, it’s worth pointing out that the university hired a lead negotiator who drove faculty to strike at a different Michigan university several years ago. It seems unlikely that this was accidental.
The current proposal would, as a practical matter, dramatically reduce the faculty’s role in peer evaluation, and would allow management remarkable discretion in laying off even high-performing faculty members.
Wayne State would become the first research-oriented university to limit tenure in this way.
Faculty interested in protecting tenure–and, to put matters somewhat more sharply, in limiting management discretion at a time when higher education administrators seem less and less interested in funding the core academic mission of their universities–can sign a petition supporting the Wayne State faculty here. Our collective voice does make a difference!
Won’t you sign? (Disclosure: I’m the vice-chair of the AAUP’s Collective Bargaining Congress.)