Cathy Trower, a senior research associate at Harvard University who has studied tenure for about a dozen years at the institution's Graduate School of Education, says tenure's harsh up-or-out system—and the escalating demands for research and publication at the nation's top universities—is actually driving away talented young people. "More and more men and women are saying, I don't want to be on that fast track," says Ms. Trower, who has studied 11,000 tenure-track professors at the nation's research universities. "Many are saying, This system is broken, I don't want it."
Really? They don't want it? Why am I not hearing, on blogs, from grad students, or from anyone else, comments like "Tenure? Not my style. Glad I dodged that bullet!"?
Only 70 percent of the tenure-track professors Ms. Trower studied at research institutions said they would choose to work at their universities if they had it to do over again.This is not the same thing as having the other 30% say they would never choose to work at a tenure-granting institution, though, is it? Trower defines tenure as "tenure at an R1 institution," which--breaking news, Chronicle!--isn't the only kind of institution that exists.
And finally, this:
Ms. Trower says it is possible to run a university with hard-working, committed scholars who are off the tenure track. "I'm outside the tenure system," she adds, "and I work really, really, hard."In other words, you can choose to work "really, really hard" and have all the stress and anxiety of a tenure system without any of its traditional protections. More work, less money--why, according to Trower, it's a win-win!
What am I missing here?