academic freedom

Why not have mandatory “toolbox” training?

In a recent meeting with a number of teaching-minded colleagues, one made what – to me – sounded like a rather innocent remark. She suggested that perhaps all new faculty should be required to attend a course about good teaching practices before they begin planning their first courses. Her suggestion was met with an uncomfortable quiet and when I asked others about it afterwards I was informed that this issue was a political hot potato of a sort. Why, because

Tenure and Academic Freedom: The Beginning of the End

Since the Second World War, Canadian and American universities have offered faculty members tenure, the promise of lifetime employment to those who complete a six-to-ten-year probation period. During this time, professors’ teaching, writing, and research are scrutinized by their colleagues to determine whether or not a tenured appointment is merited.

The tenure system arose during a period when qualified faculty were in short supply and, for many years, served as an important non-pecuniary tool for faculty recruitment. At the same