DEFINING THE ISSUES
Creating Flexibility in Tenure-Track Faculty Careersa
On March 22, 2005, the American Council on Education (ACE) released the report, An Agenda for Excellence: Creating Flexibility in Tenure-Track Faculty Careers, which concluded that “higher education leaders urgently need to examine and proactively address the institutional climate that governs the entire career cycle of faculty, from entry-level to tenure-track positions to retirement.”
The panel reports that, for a variety of reasons, an increasing number of new PhDs are leaving academe or opting for careers outside the traditional tenure-track path. To achieve a better balance between personal and professional life, some faculty, especially women, choose adjunct and non-tenure-track positions, despite low pay, minimal or no benefits, and potential lack of job security. The ACE report argues that in many fields, especially science and engineering, the United States cannot afford to lose its potential academic workforce, and US institutions of higher learning should “act immediately to attract the best faculty to the tenure-track professoriate.”
The report makes the following general recommendations:b
driven approach to examining those concerns lends credibility to and enables a less confrontational discussion of the issues.77
Tips for Academic Leaders to Accelerate the Advancement of Women in Science and Engineering, http://wiseli.engr.wisc.edu/Products/Sex_and_Science.pdf; Harvard University (2005). Report of the Task Force on Women Faculty, http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/daily/2005/05/women-faculty.pdf.