Education: Faculty Featherbedding

Almost every campus has them: incompetent professors who cannot be fired, much less shamed into quitting. Losers by almost any academic standard, they are actually winners of academe's choicest prize: "tenure" (from the Latin tenere, meaning to hold or keep). The system has lately been lambasted by three national commissions on education, is under study at the universities of Utah and Wisconsin, and faces attack in the legislatures of eleven states. Tenure, charges John R. Silber, president of Boston University, has become "a device used by the devil to encourage faculty slothfulness."


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