Why so green and lonely? Everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Potted Plants ♥ Tenure

This Freakonomics blog post reminds me of a conversation I had with someone last week. Here's Stephen Levitt, a guy with tenure, ranting on the subject:
The idea that tenure protects scholars who are doing politically unpopular work strikes me as ludicrous.
The best case scenario would be if all schools could coordinate on dumping tenure simultaneously. [...] Absent all schools moving together to get rid of tenure, what if one school chose to unilaterally revoke tenure. It seems to me that it might work out just fine for that school. It would have to pay the faculty a little extra to stay in a department without an insurance policy in the form of tenure. Importantly, though, the value of tenure is inversely related to how good you are. If you are way over the bar, you face almost no risk if tenure is abolished. So the really good people would require very small salary increases to compensate for no tenure
BTW in 2004 he gave a TED talk (22min) that's pretty interesting, and funny in a way.


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