Posted by: thebylog | May 28, 2004

I didn’t realize that a professor’s job was so insecure, but apparently, until you receive tenure, you could be let go at the end of any year. I was talking to Dr. Jensen, and he’s almost to that time in his career at Oregon State, that he could be up for tenure. Until then, he has to defend himself every year, tell them why they should keep him on.

Worse yet, if you go up for tenure and don’t make it, the University says you’ve got a year to find another job. But if you don’t get tenure, other universities probably won’t hire you.

In that case, you find a job in industry.

If you do make tenure, you’re set. The University will keep you basically as long as you want to be there.

There’s strategy too, if you don’t think you’re going to make tenure, you don’t have to go up for it. If you don’t go up for tenure because you don’t think you’ll make it, you’ll have a better chance of being hired on at another university.

The problem with Dr. Jensen, from a tenure standpoint, is that he’s all teaching and no (or little) research. Research is what brings in the money that pays the professors. No one’s ever been tenured as an instructor (like Dr. Jensen is) before, though there’s a chemistry teacher up for it now. Dr. Jensen says that if this chem instructor doesn’t make it, there’s not way he will.

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