Tenure used to make people think of Mr. Chips, and the "halls of academe." Now "tenure" is a fighting word, pitting cost-conscious administrators against increasingly organized faculties. Is tenure a scam? or the last bastion of free expression? In this hour, To the Best of Our Knowledge considers the end of tenure.
Jonathan Gilligan, a research assistant professor of physics at Vanderbilt University, tells Judith Strasser that he thinks both his research and his teaching are more innovative because he is not on the tenure track. Gilligan thinks tenure should be replaced by a peer review system. City University of New York sociologist Stanley Aronowitz says it's not just an economic issue: tenure is what protects academic freedom. He says people are sometimes denied tenure simply because they espouse unpopular views.SEGMENT 2:
Don Snyder tells Anne Strainchamps his story. He was fired from his tenure track position and to his astonishment was unable to land another academic job. He became a contractor and a much nicer person. Snyder's book is "The Cliff Walk: A Memoir of A Job Lost and A Life Found."SEGMENT 3:
Richard Russo taught in colleges for over twenty years. Now he's a full-time novelist. He talks with Jim Fleming about his new one -- "Straight Man" -- an academic comedy that spills the beans on what English Department meetings are really like.
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