Tenure, RIP?

A recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Tenure RIP?  makes for interesting reading.  I’ve pasted it below.

Some time this fall, the U.S. Education Department will publish a report that documents the death of tenure. Innocuously titled “Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2009,” the report won’t say it’s about the demise of tenure. But that’s what it will show.Over just three decades, the proportion of college instructors who are tenured or on the tenure track plummeted: from 57 percent in 1975 to 31 percent in 2007. The new report is expected to show that that proportion fell even further in 2009, dropping below one-third. If you add graduate teaching assistants to the mix, those with some kind of tenure status represent a mere quarter of all instructors. Continue reading

The Job “Market:” Was it ever “Good?”

I’m not on the “market” this year, but to paraphrase one of the four questions: What makes this year any different from any other? An interesting discussion about this over at Mikhail’s favorite blog, The Leiter Reports (see here).  Answers?  From the IHE (here and here):

The main recruiting venue for the American Philosophical Association is its Eastern Division meeting, which takes place the last week of December and attracts departments nationwide that seek to recruit. David Schrader said he couldn’t tell how many departments had signed up, but that revenue from those departments was down 40 percent this year, and that the number of positions for which interviews would take place at the meeting was probably down by the same, large proportion.  He said he hoped that some departments were holding off and would recruit later in the academic year than is normal. But he said that he “can’t imagine that departments are being encouraging” about positions this year. “I hope this is just a one-year dip.”  At least six searches in philosophy that were started have been called off — according to the philosophy jobs wiki — and that doesn’t count other positions that had once been thought possible. Continue reading