Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2013


College teachers -- Tenure, Tenure


This paper explores alignment between 2012-13 CLAS visioning and planning reports and state and national trends around faculty mix in higher education. It argues for pursuing the instructional excellence highlighted in many of the CLAS reports by investing in tenure. Tenure anchors authentic academic freedom through robust peer review and shared governance, the pillars of academic life. Tenure also provides the tested and proven means for providing a faculty stability, professional development, and an appropriate reward structure. This paper recommends expanded pathways to tenure, particularly for teaching intensive appointments traditionally described as "full-time fixed-term" at Portland State University. This adjustment would likely entail more systematic peer review of teaching as part of the evaluation process and reward structure for all faculty at PSU. Departments might foster more active roles for curriculum and hiring committees as well. CLAS is poised to lead the campus in converting full-time teaching intensive positions to tenure-eligible and tenured faculty appointments. Such conversions have ample precedent at PSU. And so doing protects and enhances the college’s acknowledged “abundance of faculty talent, commitment and experience in promoting students success,” and steers PSU toward a more equitable and secure future.

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