Tracking the Evolution (and Erosion) of Tenure

Colleen Flaherty
Inside Higher Ed

Excerpt: The loss of tenure lines is accelerating. So is the erosion of tenure, by extension, according to a new institutional survey of tenure policies by the American Association of University Professors.

The last such survey of college and university tenure practices, in the U.S. Education Department’s National Study of Postsecondary Faculty, was in 2004. At that time, 17 percent of institutions said they’d replaced tenure lines with contingent appointments in the previous five years. Today, that figure is 54 percent, according to the AAUP survey, which paints a picture of what’s happened since 2004, when the federal government stopped funding the national survey.