Tenure allows best professors to succeed without resentment (editorial)
The Buffalo News
February 12, 1999
Academic tenure permits a professor or teacher to hold his job until retirement or for life. This arrangement has come under considerable criticism in recent months on the grounds that it tends to protect incompetent faculty from losing their jobs.
While this criticism is sometimes valid, it overlooks that tenure protects the best and most productive faculty from resentment against achievement. …
[T]he best work done in any university or college is done by tenured, full professors who are free to publish, teach and produce without worrying about the committee professionals and other self-appointed elitists who dominate almost every campus. Today, almost the entire academic establishment is dominated by those who demand conformity at any price. In fact, rigid conformity and puritanical thinking are the principal characteristics of the academic world, so that there is hardly any room for individualism anywhere in our institutions of higher learning. Those who express views not to the liking of campus politicians are either deprived of their jobs, denied promotions or excluded from faculty activities.
Aa a result, large numbers of faculty no longer attend any meetings, refuse to serve on committees for fear teaching [sic] subject matter not “politically correct.” That phrase refers to the belief that some thoughts should not be expressed, some ideas not exhibited, some books not written and some forms of expression not spoken. “Political correctness” is just one form of tyranny among the many that have plagued mankind. It is, however, most egregious that the academy is now “goose stepping” to the campus “thought police.”
For example, it is currently almost impossible for a graduate student in psychology to follow teachings of Sigmund Freud. Freud is “politically incorrect.” Similarly, a graduate student in sociology would not dare express an interest in the work of Pitirim Sorokin. He, too, is out. …
Of course, while Sorokin may not have hated Freud personally, he had no use for Freud’s theories.
— posted by Roger W. Smith