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View Diary: Florida Governor Rick Scott Takes Aim at University Tenure (205 comments)

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  •  I have tenure at a major research university. (18+ / 0-)

    Without tenure, I likely would have been fired at several key points in my career, for reasons having to do with my personal life.  My son became sick and I had to take care of him intensively while I was working, which meant that for about 3 years I wasn't as "productive" in terms of articles and travel to conferences and giving lectures, though I did teach and do committee work and advising and all the other responsibilities that go along with the job.  But because of those years in which I didn't have as many articles published each year as is expected usually, I could have been sacked without tenure.  I am more productive than ever now and doing good work and making connections for my department with departments overseas.  

    My work pushes boundaries and goes against the grain of what is done in the wider field.  I have won a national prize for my work.  Without tenure, I could have been sacked by those who did not like the direction of my work or just didn't like me, or had a grudge... whatever personal reason.  But they couldn't sack me, and I have done work that is internationally respected and has changed paradigms in my field.  Tenure made that possible.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 02:03:05 PM PDT

    •  And this is why (7+ / 0-)

      taking a long view pays off. Just not with this governor and his ilk. If you can't monetize it on a quarterly basis, it doesn't mean anything.

      I'm glad you found your way through all the challenges. I would bet that that experience has made you a better academic.

      As American as apple pie. As Canadian as possible, under the circumstances.

      by mitumba on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 02:11:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. In several ways I think it has, but I (1+ / 0-)
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        also think that it made me lose some opportunities.  Colleagues are more likely to think of others, not of me, when it comes to assigning certain responsibilities.  I resented this, and still somewhat do; though now that I am super productive again, I try to take the view that it's for the best given that I have more time to do what I do well for the university.

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 02:43:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One of my graduate committee members got (1+ / 0-)
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      "crossways" with a state official over a scientific matter on which he differed from the politician. The pol wanted this excellent faculty member fired in the worst way, but my committee member kept his job because of tenure. THAT'S the sort of thing tenure is for. And what happened to my committee member happens more often in more ways than people would ever realize.

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