The Quest for Tenure: Job Security and Academic Freedom

29 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2008

See all articles by Mark L. Adams

Mark L. Adams

Valparaiso University Law School


Tenure is designed to protect a faculty member by safeguarding academic freedom, ensuring a fair process prior to dismissal, and providing job security. In recent years, tenure has come under increasing attack due to the financial costs on academic institutions and concerns regarding the creation of a system of disincentives for teaching and scholarly productivity. In addition, the tenure process has been criticized for denying opportunities to women and other under-represented groups due to the application of collegiality as a criterion for selection. This Article addresses the issue of tenure as a condition of employment by examining the process for the awarding of tenure as an employment benefit and the impact of tenure on the employment relationship. The Article further addresses the nexus between tenure as a condition of employment and the protection of academic freedom, the role of collegiality, and future challenges to tenure.

Keywords: tenure, academic freedom, tenure process

Suggested Citation

Adams, Mark L., The Quest for Tenure: Job Security and Academic Freedom. Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 56, No. 67, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Mark L. Adams (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University Law School ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States

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