Life

'Leave-Proofing' the Faculty

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Tenure-track jobs are harder than ever to find, with the economic mess prompting many colleges to grow even more cautious about hiring anyone on the tenure track. Tenure-track openings are being put on hold. Searches are being called off every day. Many who worry that higher education has created a faculty of two tiers -- the privileged tenured class and the overused and abused adjuncts -- have been told that this year is simply not the year in which to promote change.

'Standing Still' as Associate Profs

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English and foreign language departments promote male associate professors to full professors on average at least a year -- and in some cases, depending on type of institutions, several years -- more speedily than they promote women, according to a study being released today by the Modern Language Association. Over all, the average time for women as associate professor prior to promotion is 8.2 years, compared to 6.6 years for men.

'Resilience'

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Kenneth Oldfield and Richard Greggory Johnson met at a meeting of the American Society for Public Administration, and became friends, in part because of their shared working class backgrounds. Oldfield, professor emeritus of public administration at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is straight. Johnson, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Vermont, is gay.

Departments Without Chairs

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Kean University considers budget-cutting move that professors say will hurt academic freedom -- and may actually add expenses.

Staying on the Job

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Survey from TIAA-CREF backs anecdotal evidence that economic downturn is leading professors to delay retirement plans.

Tenure in a Digital Era

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MLA and humanities consortium start effort to be sure scholars up for promotion receive fair evaluations of electronic contributions -- and to give peer review a needed update.

The Mystery of Faculty Priorities

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Does it make economic and public policy sense for professors to spend more time on research? Two scholars review the evidence and find more theories than answers.

(Somewhat) Family Friendlier

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Significantly more colleges have policies to help employees maneuver work/life balance than they did in 2002, but many approaches are informal, study finds.

'Faring Well' or Disappearing?

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WASHINGTON -- While women are underrepresented on the science faculties of research universities, they are more likely than men to be interviewed for tenure-track jobs and to receive job offers, and if they are hired and stay, they are at least as likely as men to receive tenure. Those are the conclusions of a study requested by Congress and released Tuesday by the National Academies.

Tenure's Value ... to Society

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A judge ruled last week in Colorado that not only is tenure a good thing for the professors who enjoy it, it is valuable to the public. Further, the court ruled that the value (to the public) of tenure outweighed the value of giving colleges flexibility in hiring and dismissing. That is a principle that faculty members say is very important and makes this case about much more than the specific issues at play.

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