Where will tenure be in 10 years? No adjunct professor should care. Here’s why:
Most non-tenure-track professors couldn’t even say where they’ll be in 10 weeks, let alone 10 years. Asking an adjunct to support tenure is like asking a homeless person to support a tax deduction for homeowners.
Sure, tenure’s a good idea. I hope it endures. I mean, it seems nice.
But I have a different question that I believe is even more important: not “Where will tenure be in 10 years?”, but “Where will professors be in 10 years?” Because as of right now, things are not looking good. While we worry about the erosion of tenure (which affects a very small proportion of academic labor), the entire profession is crumbling. It’s like painting your living room while the house burns down.
As I see it, the loss of tenure is just one symptom of the new, temporary academic workforce. If we don’t stanch the bleeding of the higher-ed economy and do something to help the exploited class of casualized labor, there will be no one left to care about privileged problems like tenure. <Read more.>