Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 11:32am
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Tim Cain

Megan Zahneis interviewed Tim Cain for her article "The Latest Assault on Tenure," published in The Chronicle of Higher Education on February 16, 2020. Zahneis profiles a tenured history professor at Centenary College, who was released in December after 19 years of teaching (12 with tenure).

She explores the changes in academic norms that enable institutions to lay-off tenured faculty to prevent financial exigency rather than as a response to it. After adopting a less dire definition of "exigency" in 2013, the AAUP continues to maintain that a faculty governance body must participate in the assessment and determination of the financial situation and that all feasible alternatives to removing tenured faculty be exhausted. According to Zahneis's study, neither recommendation has been observed in recent actions by schools.

Zahneis quotes Tim Cain, "As we reshape our institutions, oftentimes without substantial or significant faculty input, we are further eroding the power of the tenured faculty." While the articles focuses on small, private colleges, Cain observes the potential impact on public universities that have seen their state appropriations cut over the past four decades, "[They] might be in danger of having the academic integrity and rigor undercut due to financial pressures."

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