The Power of Tenure?

The case of CU Prof. Ward Churchill has begun to highlight an interesting question: how will the radical fringes of American academia survive and adapt to an intense popular scrutiny, enhanced by the vast connections and lightning reactions of a less-than-sympathetic new media?

The CU Board of Regents has called a meeting on the issue, which at this point probably translates to a lot of talk and a hope that the issue will just fade away.

Meanwhile, the campus College Republicans hold a petition drive calling for Churchill’s resignation. And Joshua interviews a CU history professor who places the blame for the university’s inaction on the tenure system.

Regardless of what happens specifically in the Churchill case, universities heavily subsidized by federal and state tax dollars ought to take a closer look at the tenure system: what it takes to become tenured and what it protects.

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