Is tenure justified? An experimental study of faculty beliefs about tenure, promotion, and academic freedom

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (6):553-569 (2006)
Abstract
The behavioral sciences have come under attack for writings and speech that affront sensitivities. At such times, academic freedom and tenure are invoked to forestall efforts to censure and terminate jobs. We review the history and controversy surrounding academic freedom and tenure, and explore their meaning across different fields, at different institutions, and at different ranks. In a multifactoral experimental survey, 1,004 randomly selected faculty members from top-ranked institutions were asked how colleagues would typically respond when confronted with dilemmas concerning teaching, research, and wrong-doing. Full professors were perceived as being more likely to insist on having the academic freedom to teach unpopular courses, research controversial topics, and whistle-blow wrong-doing than were lower-ranked professors (even associate professors with tenure). Everyone thought that others were more likely to exercise academic freedom than they themselves were, and that promotion to full professor was a better predictor of who would exercise academic freedom than was the awarding of tenure. Few differences emerged related either to gender or type of institution, and behavioral scientists' beliefs were similar to scholars from other fields. In addition, no support was found for glib celebrations of tenure's sanctification of broadly defined academic freedoms. These findings challenge the assumption that tenure can be justified on the basis of fostering academic freedom, suggesting the need for a re-examination of the philosophical foundation and practical implications of tenure in today's academy. (Published Online February 8 2007) Key Words: academia; academic freedom; ethical issues; faculty beliefs; professoriate; promotion; scientific misconduct; tenure; whistle-blowing.
Keywords academia   academic freedom   ethical issues   faculty beliefs   professoriate   promotion   scientific misconduct   tenure   whistle-blowing
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,768
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

14 ( #112,737 of 1,098,981 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #175,054 of 1,098,981 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.