Judicial Enforcement of Academic Tenure: An Examination
50 Washington Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 597, 1975
26 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2009
Date Written: 1975
In recent years, critical attacks on higher education have focused upon tenure of faculty members and have mounted in both volume and intensity. As a result, there has been an agonizing reappraisal of the whole subject of academic tenure. The concept of tenure in the teaching profession, though subject to varied definition, eligibility and legal basis, includes a basic element: a measure of employment security. Tenured faculty members enjoy the assurance of continued employment which can be terminated only by means of procedural due process and for reasons of extreme misconduct or program curtailment. In addition, tenure is an important guarantee of academic freedom, protecting as well as attracting qualified teachers. To the faculty member, tenure also entails a "kind of communal acceptance into the professorial guild." This article will examine the existing judicial authority on the legal status of academic tenure at the college level. The article begins with a discussion of acquisition of tenure and proceeds to analyze obstacles to its enforcement and grounds for dismissal from a tenured position, together with the procedural protections which must accompany dismissal.
Keywords: Academic tenure, faculty, teaching
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation