Re: mommy!

Beth W. Baldwin (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 15:08:14 -0400

Jumping ship is, indeed, taking a stand. The stand is: I won't stand for
what's going on in my current situation. People most often talk with
their feet. I am among those who have thus chosen to speak with my feet.
While I want to stay in higher education and remain active in my chosen
discipline (rhetoric/composition), I discovered alternatives outside the
faculty/tenure hoop-jumping feudal system. Now, I am working in
continuing education and this is a wonderful alternative for me in light
of my interests, experience, and preferences.

The thing that bugs me about the gutting of tenure, however, is that this
gutting may be motivated by a desire to replace tenure/security with an
itinerant, part-time, temporary, low-paid, abusable professional
workforce. I think it has little to do with protecting or not protecting
the sanctity of the classroom and academic freedom. Those good old
professors at the associate and full levels are expensive folks. Why not
just turn over your professorship every X number of years when the next
and newest model comes along.

This is, as a matter of fact, what is happening tenure system or no. How
many of you grad students or recent graduates of doctoral programs have
secured tenure track positions as opposed to temporary instructorships?
How many of your buddies have secured such positions? How many of those
who have secured the tenure track position at assistant level have gone on
to achieve tenure? How does this number compare with the number of people
you know who are looking for (and who are qualified for) tenure positions?

When I considered the number of my friends and colleagues who had achieved
tenure (or even tenure track jobs) compared to the number who were
looking, I decided that I better start looking for alternatives .

Is anyone familiar with the article in a recent issue of _Social Text_
that addresses this issue? I think it should be required reading for
folks considering doctoral programs.

Minn. is only making formal moves to formalize what other institutions now


Beth Baldwin, Ph.D. *
Office of Continuing Education *
University of North Carolina at Greensboro *
Greensboro, NC 27412-5001 *
910-334-5301, ext. 44 * *