Building and Managing the Faculty of the Future
Edited by Robert L. Clark and Jennifer Ma
Chapter 10: Faculty retirement incentives by colleges and universities
10. Faculty retirement incentives by colleges and universities John Pencavel 10.1 INTRODUCTION The ending of mandatory retirement has given tenured faculty a new job privilege.1 Except for faculty dismissed for cause, a tenured faculty member’s decision to leave a university or college is now entirely at the discretion of the faculty member. At one time, the implicit contract between a university and a professor involved tenure for a certain number of years followed by its termination at a speciﬁed age. The professor was protected from job dismissal for his views, but in return the institution was permitted unilaterally to sever its association with him at a particular age. With the end of mandatory retirement, this university-initiated severance has been ended. Yet academic tenure was not intended to provide a guarantee of lifetime employment. In 1940, the American Association of University Professors provided a classic statement about academic freedom and tenure:2 Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. Academic freedom is essential to these purposes and applies to both teaching and research . . . Tenure is a means to certain ends; speciﬁcally: (1) freedom of teaching and research and of extramural activities, and (2) a suﬃcient degree of economic security to make the profession attractive to men and women of ability. Freedom and economic security,...
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