Tenure at a Crossroads, Again? goes beyond the explication of tenure to explore the contemporary challenges facing academia at the K–12 and higher education levels. This edited volume is unique in the sense that it grapples issues from multiple viewpoints—that of the university/college administrator and professor, to the K–12 educator.
The book examines increased expectations and how existing policies have spilled over into institutions of higher learning once high school graduates enter this domain. Students’ educational expectations resonate with college administrators and policy makers forcing institutions to adapt to these needs. This moves professors to “dumb down” the curricula and teaching to avoid negative evaluations and protect themselves from unwarranted retaliation.
This confluence of factors reverberates throughout the educational system, producing unintended effects that have collectively led to an alliance between the administration and students in higher education, much like those experienced by our K-12 colleagues yet now questions the rationale for tenure to re-examine dilemmas that have long dogged higher education. The most recent solution - the corporatization of institutions but to the detriment of a quality education. We offer practical strategies to mitigate this unilateral approach while incorporating innovative mechanisms for the system’s survival.
G.L.A. Harris is senior associate dean of the faculty and administration, and professor of global affairs at the Thunderbird School of Global Management
Dwight Vick is adjunct professor of public administration at Excelsior College, and adjunct professor in public policy at Texas A&M International University
Foreword Jeanette Beatrice Taylor
Introduction G.L.A. Harris and Dwight Vick
PART I: THE ADMINISTRATION
Chapter 1: The Ourstory of Higher Education: We’ve Been Here Before Dwight Vick
Chapter 2: The Corporatization and Devolution of Higher Education G.L.A. Harris
Chapter 3: The Decline in Faculty Governance and Rise in the Administrative State G.L.A. Harris
Chapter 4: Tenure in the New Era: From the Perspective of a Three-Time University President Judith Ramaley
PART II: THE BLACK BOX OF TENURE
Chapter 5: Tenure and the Organizational Culture in Higher Education Phil M. Dodd-Nufrio and Arleen T. Dodd-Nufrio
Chapter 6: Cloaked Biases as Micro-Aggression: Impact on Faculty of Color G.L.A. Harris
Chapter 7: Microaggressions in Academia: Awful but not Unlawful Dwight Vick
Chapter 8: The Immigrant Has Landed Natalia Ermasova
PART III: THE WAR ON EDUCATION
Chapter 9: No Child Left Behind Left No Teacher Standing G.L.A. Harris, Dwight Vick, and Krista Lee
Chapter 10: Challenges in the Classroom: The Perspectives from a K-12 Educator Krista Lee
Conclusion G.L.A. Harris and Dwight Vick
The invalidating and marginalizing experiences of faculty of color, the political minefields of the K-12 experience, and the many microaggressions experienced by untenured university faculty are each deeply disturbing and multifaceted issues yet this book manages to bring them together and finds the disturbing truths underlying them all. Chapter 7 brought me to my knees because of the graphic reminders of the constant microaggressions, sexism, racism and disdain for family life and responsibilities have been pervasive throughout my academic career. This book will not make you comfortable, but I advise that any aspiring faculty member read it, particularly those who differ from the fully tenured professorial norm by gender, race, religion, class background, beliefs, etc. As someone told me early in my doctoral studies, ‘Most of this is hazing and the less you look like the typical members of the club, the more hazing you get.’ This book illustrates that truth. I would love to share it with administrators, tenure committees and others in positions of power but I sadly doubt they would recognize themselves between it covers.
Dr. Harris and Dr. Vick have delivered a comprehensive must-read for those interested in the challenges facing higher education today. Each chapter gives voice to the often known, but unsaid, challenges impacting institutions today. This publication evokes contemplation on each of our contributions to the overall learning environment, which not only includes teaching, research and service, but the type of community we build as collective bodies of learners, educators and practitioners. As a current member of ASPA’s Executive Council, I’m touched that this publication started as a panel at the annual conference in 2012. A lot has happened since then: COVID-19, the expansion of online education, institutional closures, the plateau of 18-24 years old within the United States and the diversification of this nation’s student body. Each one of these issues places tremendous pressure upon institutions, but combined, they play out in a myriad of ways on campuses across this nation. To understand the intricacies of how these institutions work from the perspective of those who’ve dedicated their careers to the field of education, you should be compelled to read Tenure at a Crossroads, Again?.