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Labor Issues & Tenure

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Outlook: Workplace Imbalance
CURRENTS Article A growing reliance on nontenure-track faculty is threatening the opportunity for frequent and high-quality faculty-student interactions—inside and outside the classroom.

The Philanthropic President
CURRENTS Article When Raymond Burse became president of Kentucky State University in 2014, he cut his salary by $90,000 to fund a raise for KSU employees earning minimum wage.

Talking Points: Shield of Dreams?
CURRENTS Article Tenure is a concept that the public, the media, and campus constituents continue to misunderstand. A former university president explains what tenure is, why it exists, and what it's meant to protect.

Talking Points: The State of the Unions
CURRENTS Article Graduate assistants on more than 50 U.S. and Canadian campuses have gained or are seeking the right to be recognized as employees entitled to collective bargaining with their employers. This article summarizes the history of graduate assistant unions, the types of benefits and job conditions unions are promoting, and the implications for both public and private institutions.

Talking Points: Eyes on the Prize
CURRENTS Article Advancement officers may be called on to discuss or defend the practice of tenure. McDowell summarizes the history and importance of tenure and cites several common myths -- that it guarantees faculty jobs for life, that it rewards research over teaching, and that it encourages faculty complacency. In recent years, political and financial pressures have encouraged institutions to introduce changes in tenure policies, such as regular post-tenure review programs, flexible tenure tracks with varying requirements, and alternative options such as employment contracts.

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