Tuesday, September 30, 2003

What tenure buys 

Independence. Just ask Erin.
In its present form, the tenure system--in the academic humanities anyway--does less to protect "academic freedom" than it does to reward conformity and perpetuate a closed, insecure system of often unearned, frequently abused privilege. ... Yes, I do have tenure. Yes, I would give it up gladly if the system were reformed along more ethically responsive and responsible lines. Yes, there are plenty of people who say they would not have voted to tenure me if they had known I would become the author of a weblog as offensive to their political sensibilities as Critical Mass is--which proves my point about conformity, and which is one reason why I mistrust the tenure system so deeply and why I hold even my own tenure to be awfully cheap.