Guest Column: Eliminating tenure for professors could lower the cost of education for students

Joe Bialek

This letter is in response to the article written by Ronald Stolle of The Columbus Dispatch regarding the elimination of academic tenure as a means of reducing the cost of education for students.

In a word: agreed. Stolle puts forth a very convincing argument supported by facts and statistics for the need to eliminate the overburdening cost of tenure and its negative effect on students’ education. In both my graduate and undergraduate years I witnessed firsthand the resulting waste caused by the bureaucratic, self-perpetuation of tenure. While it may have been a reform enacted during the Progressive Era, it is one that has outlasted its intention and usefulness. Unfortunately, many reforms in America have outlasted their use until the time finally arrives to abolish it and go in a new direction. This is clearly the case with academic tenure. The only other job that mimics the same job security is that of U.S. Supreme Court — a topic for another editorial.

With academic tenure there is absolutely no incentive placed upon the professor to share in the successes or failures of educating a student. As for the “publish or parish conundrum,” let those who want to teach, teach and those who want to research, research. Forcing a research-oriented professor to teach is like forcing a square peg into a round hole. It is a recipe for disaster. We have all experienced that. However, as Stolle correctly notes, research cannot be allowed to become so useless that it amounts to nothing more than a discussion forum between the upper echelons of academia. Yes, I agree with the argument put forth that the time is long overdue to abolish academic tenure and allow for competition and accountability to both lower the cost of education and improve it at the same time. To do otherwise would only allow the education train to continue stumbling off the academic track.

Joe Bialek

Cleveland, OH

Bialek graduated from the University of Akron in 1989 with a Bachelor of

Arts in Political Science and in 1992 with a Master of Arts in Public


He resides in Cleveland.