Wednesday, December 09, 2020

History of Precarity: now it's for everyone

Recently we were noting the rise of "precarity" among academic teachers of history (and other subjects). Now History News Network observes its rapid spread "up" into the ranks of the tenured.

In a generation, tenure and tenure-track professors will be reduced to about 10%, and more faculty will have multiyear appointments, predicts Adrianna Kezar, a professor of higher education at the University of Southern California.

 If pandemic practice among American colleges is any guide, "multiyear appointments" may be optimistic.

[P]residents of struggling colleges around the country are reacting to the pandemic by unilaterally cutting programs, firing professors and gutting tenure, all once-unthinkable changes....  That is a decline of nearly 10%. Along the way, they are changing the centuries-old higher education power structure.

The changes upset the “shared governance” model for running universities that has roots in Medieval Europe. It holds that a board of trustees has final say on how a school is run but largely delegates academic issues to administrators and faculty who share power.
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