Commentary: Academic Inequities: Nontenured Faculty Punished More Harshly For Controversial Speech

Jordan Howell
Heterodox Academy

Excerpt: Last week, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released a first-of-its-kind study, Scholars Under Fire, which tracked incidents of college faculty being targeted for controversial speech or research.

These findings provide hard data to support what many within the silos of academia have long suspected but been unable to prove: that contingent faculty, such as adjuncts and lecturers — who teach roughly 60% of classes at American colleges and universities and often work on short-term contracts at suppressed wages — do not benefit from the same academic freedom protections enjoyed by their tenured colleagues. one of the sad conclusions drawn from the data is that academic freedom is more of a lofty privilege for the few rather than a right for the many, and the consequences of this transformation within higher education may be dire.