Category Archives: Education

Tenure under threat at Wayne State

This would not be good:

Wayne State University in Detroit has proposed a new contract that would radically redefine the terms for eliminating faculty.

The school would be the first research university to effectively abolish tenure, said officials of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), opening the door for other campuses under pressure from cuts in public spending to try similar moves.

Traditionally, tenured faculty could be removed only after undergoing an extended peer review or in cases where the university is facing extreme financial stress.

The contract language management proposed in late July, however, would effectively remove peer review and centralize the power to terminate faculty in administrators’ hands.

The article provides some context for this as well:

According to Shor, the assault on tenure is another step in the “corporatization of the university.” Recent decisions like the appointment of Gilmour, the first Wayne president with no academic background, and the elimination of the Interdisciplinary Studies program that primarily served working-class people of color, have little to do with the economic realities facing the university, Shor said, and more to do with “politically motivated decisions about who the university should be serving.”

Department closures, layoffs of non-academic staff, extreme increases in tuition, and increasing reliance on adjunct faculty all point toward a radical shift to what some union members have been calling a corporate model of higher education. The cost of attending Wayne State full-time has risen from $3,970 a year in 2000 to $10,188 a year now.