Phi Beta Cons

The Tenured Chain Gang

The faculty at the University of North Carolina have successfully blindsided their board of governors, persuading the trustees that current expectations for academic productivity (“faculty workloads”) are adequate.

Jay Schalin recounts the faculty argument: The university system needs flexibility to keep professors from leaving in droves and assessment of workloads should be internal (or else “your norms will be imposed from without rather than evolving from within”). Indeed, a dean at UNC–Chapel Hill said that at a research university such as Chapel Hill, it’s too much to expect an average of two classes per semester for each tenured faculty member. (UNC–Chapel Hill turnover in the arts and humanities is about 3 percent per year.) 

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...


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