Faculty ignore reality

Frank Rosen

Dear Editor:

This is in response to your recent coverage of the senate faculty vs. Office of the Provost debate.

The debate is a classic example of how corporate interest conflict with academic hubris. On the one hand, there is the pressure to cut down on scholarly overhead; on the other, there is desperation to hold on to dear, scholarly privilege. The objectives on both sides are clear: From the provost’s point of view, the university needs to slash its faculty budget by phasing out tenure-track positions; from the Faculty Senate’s perspective, such need goes against the very principles of broad higher education.

In reality, what the provost is proposing merely follows a national trend in which universities and colleges have been eliminating full-time, tenure-track jobs or have been replacing them with non-tenure track and part-time ones rapidly for a long time. Over the past 20 years, the number of full-time, tenure-track positions has decreased by 10 to 15 percent and will continue to do so.

In light of this trend, the battle the senate is fighting is a delusional one because it ignores corporate, social and economic realities. Especially in the humanities, scholars need to wake up to the fact that their hiding from the real world under broad educational pretenses does not benefit anyone other than them.

Frank Rosen is an English graduate student.