How Tenure for Professors Has Ruined State Universities

You may have memories of attending a college or university years ago. That hallowed experience allowed you to interact with faculty, openly discuss ideas, and gain the knowledge that created opportunities for you. Even today, years later, you probably remember the name of a professor or two who made a difference as you returned to the “real” world.

Unfortunately, the landscape of public higher education has changed since then, and not in good ways. Students at many taxpayer-funded public institutions rarely see a regular faculty member in their classroom for one of five reasons:

1. Their course is taught by a graduate assistant instead of a professor.

2. An adjunct teacher runs the class.

3. Their interactions with the professor are online and their time with their teacher is on a keyboard.

4. The faculty’s union contact permits professors to teach fewer classes and go to more conferences.

5. The regular faculty member is getting a taxpayer-funded vacation, called a sabbatical.

Much of this mess is the result of one of higher education’s biggest scams: Tenure.

On the surface, tenure may seem to be a good idea. The higher-ed mouthpieces claim it is necessary to allow freedom of teaching and to address controversial ideas. They add that tenure is only offered to successful candidates after a rigorous review process of years of teaching and research.

These are half-truths, at best. In many disciplines, the supposed “freedom” to teach and discuss ideas now only exists on a very narrow spectrum on the liberal left. Plan to confront this never-ending repressive liberal bias? Good luck getting tenure! What about the “rigorous review”? In many cases new faculty hires are “groomed” by their professors in graduate school to learn the “party-line,” then the professor recommends them to a colleague at another institution. Yes, they have to write, publish, and teach; but the peers that judge them are almost always faculty with the same liberal biases.

It gets worse. In many cases, full-time faculty who often earn high-five figure paychecks in public universities may teach fewer than 5 classes per year, and almost always get summers off. This schedule requires them to be on campus very little, while collecting generous benefits rarely given to the industry experts and real-world teachers known as adjuncts who teach a far larger percentage of the classes.

If your child or grandchild is in a public university, there is a high probability that most of their classes are taught by adjuncts who make a pittance and rarely get any benefits. The good news for your students is that these adjuncts almost always have more real-world knowledge and experience than tenured professors. The bad news for our pocketbooks is that the tenured faculty spend too little time in the classroom, too much time on taxpayer funded junkets (attending conferences and getting sabbaticals to do little if anything but socialize and bloviate), and frequently teach irrelevant or boutique courses rather than the core curriculum that forms the foundation of a student’s education.

Outside of becoming a Supreme Court justice, getting tenure is as close as any job becomes to offering years of guaranteed employment with little opportunity for removal. Another dirty little secret is that many universities that want to hire a particular faculty member also will find a job for the tag-along academic spouse. We get to pay for two tenured teachers. What a deal!

So…who pays for this mess?

At public institutions, in many cases you do. Yes, students pay fees for their dorms, athletic programs, and rock-climbing walls in the student union, but it is the rest of us whose taxes fund much of their instructional budget not covered by tuition. While student debt increases as students take fewer classes taught by fulltime faculty and more by adjuncts, those tenured professors get paid more to do less. This is insane.

With all of this in mind, you’re probably asking yourself what you can do to make sure your children are properly educated.

First and foremost: Demand accountability. Contact your lawmakers to make sure that tenured faculty spend most of their time teaching. If they want to network at a conference, they should pay for it themselves or use social media instead of us funding their travel. Finally, the areas of the university your tax dollars fund should be available to you. If public dollars fund the campus library, you should have as much access to the books and databases as the tenured professors. They work for you. Make sure they are working.

~ Conservative Zone


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17 thoughts on “How Tenure for Professors Has Ruined State Universities”

  1. Our children are being indoctrinated from the first grade thru college. I pray Donald Trump can put a stop to it. One of the children I took into my home came home with a paper graded A+. It had words that were spelled wrong. I took it back to his teacher and asked her why did she give John an A+ when he had so many words spelled wrong. Her reply was,”well he spelled it the way he thought they were spelled. I told her that didn’t make it right that he needed to know he spelled it wrong and needed to spell it right. Her reply was “we didn’t want to hurt his ego, we need to boost him up and make him feel good about it. It’s a shame that our kids aren’t being taught in these schools. What kind of world will it be when the old folks are dead and gone? Our children aren’t taught to self supporting, they know nothing about raising their own food, taking care of a home etc. Many of the parents aren’t skilled to do most of it these days. Many don’t want to work and think the world owes them a living. If they have the best most expensive phones they’re happy.

    1. First start with the parents, then the schools. They need to investigate the teachers and find out what they are really teaching. Just because it’s supposed to be a high rated school doesn’t mean they are teaching the right things. Boycott them and make it known. A lot of parents just throw their kids into any school just to get rid of them.

      1. The only way to boycott them is to Quit passing the tax levees! Find out where all the money is being used, for teaching supplies or in their pockets. Over 30 years ago an engineer, where I worked, done just that. He found out that and was shocked that the superintendent made over $200 thousand per year and the principals made over $100 thousand. We had six principals in our school district. He found out they were spending 8% over budget every year and asked them why they did that. Their reply was, we are not running a business here and we don’t care.
        We, the property owners, can ask for a copy of the schools expenditures. They will fight you tooth and nail but they have to because we are their employer.

    2. Everyone seems to be talking about how the professors are teaching our kids,, but know one is talking about what happens
      when theses uneducated Keds graduate and there are no Jobs to be had because of ANIMATION. If we are going to fight this thing,” then we must show up and protest and have those teachers fired. We also should make sure that Animation falls on it’s head. This so our Children, and Grandchildren wont have to go houngy and beg for a Job.
      This is how it will go in the future,[ CAN’T FIND HELP, CITIZENS UNEDUCATED TO DO THE JOB, AND WE MUST USE AUTOMATION. THIS IS IT PEOPLE, No Education must resort too Automation. This my friends are what theses Corporation’s are hoping for, and pushing for.. That’s if we let them get away with it. If there is any time for the people to stand up against this it has to be now! before this shit hits the fan not after. We all have to stand up and tell theses Collages no more fire any Professor or professors who knowingly does this sort of thing to a student or students. along with that go after automation. We have people to do JOB’S we don’t need Automation. THIS IS SO SERIOUS OF A PROBLEM, NOT ONLY FOR OUR KIDS OF TODAY BUT FOR THERE CHILDREN AND GRAND CHILDREN AS WELL.. FIRE THE PROFESSOR’S AND STOP ANIMATION.

  2. Johns Hopkins and Fairfield Universities

    During the early to mid-60s I had the distinct privilege of attending and graduating from the Johns Hopkins University. I met some late very interesting, prominent, and especially disparate people face-to-face while attending Hopkins: Norman Thomas, who was a perennial Socialist Presidential candidate, Richard Nixon, who definitely was brilliant and who was also shy/introverted especially in groups, but very personable one-on-one, George Wallace, the infamous Governor of Alabama, Joan Baez, an attractive and very popular vocalist especially in the 60s and who still has a terrific voice and appearance, and last, but certainly not least, Jayne Mansfield, who was so pretty in person and who had those “bodacious headlights” that turned every virile young man crazy when she walked!

    One prominent thing during that timeframe that is seared in my memory was that segregation was still prevalent in Baltimore during the early to mid-60s. For example, at “Hooper’s,” a prominent restaurant next to then prominent Sweeney’s Bar and Grill on Greenmount Avenue near the Hopkins campus a black person e.g., could work as a server, but he/she couldn’t be served as a patron. Fortunately for our entire country we’ve come a long way socially [“baby”] since then!

    Fast forward to today and in my estimation it’s tragic/ironic that apparently some current university students countrywide and “outside agitators,” e.g., are unwilling to honor a longstanding tradition of honoring free speech and can’t seem to get along with others, listen and possibly learn something from disparate viewpoints of others too. I know I did and do and, therefore, according to others I’m a much better and well-informed person for the experience(s). I respectfully believe they and others definitely would be a much better and well-informed person(s) also.

    FRED HARDEN III AKA “GREYHAIRANDGREYMATTER”

  3. “So called professors” These days are no more than government “propaganda ministers”, instructed by “deep State government handlers” bent on indoctrinating “students” to be good little OBEDIENT LITTLE COMMUNISTS when they “graduate” (after the thorough BRAINWASHING.) Most are too damn STUPID to realize they are being “USED as “pawns” to turn this country into a socialist S**thole.

  4. This article is partially accurate in some of it’s criticisms, but over the top in describing the academic scene that I worked in and knew. In other words, some of the criticism is on the mark, but the picture it paints of higher education is over-the-top, excessively harsh and very inaccurate.

    1. Charles, I taught at community colleges and am a retired CPA, BSA, Programmer. That is a lot of education and I agree with this article entirely. Unions are not good when they assure the types of teaching we see today. And I think it is ludicrous that this is unionized via public funds. The unions need to be broken in this instance as Trump is fixing the governments hiring and firing processes right now. This should fit right in with the fix. Merit only should be the determining factor for the raises, and upward mobility and there should be a mechanism to cut the dead wood, non performers, out! Not only is it the only way to clean out this cesspool but additionally we will get more for the public dollars spent. Seems reasonable from an accounting view that this will save a lot of money in the long run.

  5. I agree with this article 100%. In recent years, each time I have enrolled in college classes to brush up on Cost Accounting, Financial Planning and similar subjects, the teachers are not professors and have absolutely no knowledge of how their subject functions in industry. If General Motors adopted one instructors teachings on line loading, each factory would produce no more than what would fit on to the length of the assembly line each day. He was teaching that the line was loaded and unloaded each day.

  6. Tenure is the same as Civil Servant neither is Civil and only Self serving. True Definition of Tenure or Civil Servant = Can’t be Fired and can Only be Raised to a Higher Level of INCOMPETENCE!!!!!!!

  7. The academic world has for decades been on an agenda of destroying the American way of life. The extreme liberal socialistic academia learned many decades ago from the communist party that the way to change America is through the indoctrination of school kids and in time the students as young adults would attempt to overthrow the American government as we know it. Academia today is controlling the students thinking by demanding that certain beliefs and activities are wrong and will not be tolerated on school campuses from elementary to college grades. The academic world is even telling and demanding that students speak only as they are told to do. Need I say mopre!

  8. It’s a tragedy that our once-great schools, as educational systems, have succumbed to the worldly demands of the different isms that now plague all of society–from the government’s top posts down to the lowly home life of each individual. Personally I have tried to see education, or learning, as fun and an enjoyable activity–from kindergarten through post-graduate education. I am now enjoying the golden years in total retirement, getting to reminisce about the “good ole days”. The sad thing is those days were neither good nor old, but somehow suppressive and defeating, according to today’s standards. Oh well, I guess it’s time to go back to the drawing board to redesign our “failing” system.

  9. If you attend or have attended higher education, this article is right on; and sadly so. Why do I have to take “core” courses? To help pay for tenure, what else, but told for more rounded education (mainly high school courses taught over, or slightly advanced, and seldom in field of study)!
    And tenure is not new, nor something unfamiliar to the unions or teachers. While in junior high school had an algebra teacher who continually catered to those that had a grasp of calculus; rest of the algebra class was on its own. My parents and others, on several occasions, went to board of education meetings to complain about the fact that teacher was not instructing the whole class. Their answer. Sorry she has Tenure, and we can’t do anything, and, they did not!!! This was years ago.
    Helped ruin my math education, but was not important to them, and, now in higher education at universities and colleges, this same abuse to the students is still paid for by the public, but with more money, and, under the guise that the professor is involved in class.
    No wonder a college education costs so much!!!!
    And, the administrations are just as guilty by not having stricter over site of their professors, and/or, they too have enormous salaries and benefits, and don’t want to let the “cat out of the bag”!!!!
    In my father’s travels, he would often tell me to get tenure at a college because “they have it made”. Apparently my Dad knew what is was seeing and hearing before tenure was not a good thing!!!!

  10. Kick Out the Liberal Marxist Communist Professors & Teachers who Job it is to Dumb Down American Youth along with indoctrination but first kick Out the Unions…!!! They do not belong in Taxpayer Paid Jobs it the one thing I hold against JFK allowing the Unions into the Federal Workplace which spread from there to State, County & City..!!

  11. Simply break the union. I am certain where there is a union there is dead weight. And why is this allowed in public schools? Anything funded by public funds should never ever be unionized and subsidized. This is always where the dem wits and liberals will gravitate to. End it. Like the reforms Trump intends for the government pay raises and jobs in the upward column everything, should be based on merit only and dead weight needs to be trimmed out!

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