FRONTLINE: Increase tenure track faculty - The Western Front: Opinion

FRONTLINE: Increase tenure track faculty

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Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 8:40 am

It’s outrageous that tenure-track professors have dropped 30 percent in the past four years. 

In 2008, 145 professors were on the tenure track compared to 91 in 2011, according to Western’s Institutional Research. 

Non-tenure faculty rose to about 42 percent in 2011. 

Budget cuts have not only affected students through tuition, but also faculty and their potential for a permanent position. 

Tenure is when a professor is given a permanent position with the university. Non-tenure professors are given a maximum of a three-year contract, have more of a chance of being dismissed and receive fewer benefits.

This issue is important to students because it’s their teaching staff. 

If a department is lacking in long-term professors, students have less of a chance to connect and bond with teachers inside their major. 

This editorial board knows the importance of having a reliable faculty of well-known and consistent professors.

Knowing a department’s faculty becomes important to the success of a student. Three years or less is not enough for a teacher to become as familiar with students in their department. This is especially true considering non-tenured professors  have to teach more general university requirement classes, which are bigger and less personal.

Western needs to offer more full-time, tenure positions. It’s robbing professors and students of an educational experience. If students can’t rely on a foundation of permanent professors the university isn’t doing the most to provide for and support  it's students. 

Good teachers bridge the gap between a mediocre college experience and a thorough one. If they’re not present in our educational system, there is little more we can count on than overflowing classes and overpriced books. 

Students need to fight to support professors by fighting to supporting tenure. 


The editorial board is made up of Editor-in-Chief Sarah Aitchison, Managing Editor James Kozanitis and Opinion Editor Joella Ortega.

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