Naomi Schaefer Riley discusses “The Economic Upside to Ending Tenure” ( Chronicle of Higher Education, June 19, 2011):
In her new book, The Faculty Lounges: and Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For (Ivan R. Dee), Naomi Schaefer Riley argues that faculty tenure is among the factors contributing to the decline of higher education in the United States. Here is an excerpt from the book.
If colleges were to eliminate tenure tomorrow, they’d have to pay faculty higher salaries. That’s what most economists—and common sense—will tell you. Lifetime job security is a perk, like health insurance or a company car. If you take it away, you’ll have to compensate in another way to get the same quality of employees.
Tenure means not having to worry about having to find new employment in middle age, and that means a lot to professors.
Does it mean, among other things, that they can go on fronting some view through to retirement even if it is as lacking in merit as neo-Darwinism – and go on attempting to destroy anyone who questions it?